|Holes in our Music
|Thursday, March 22, 2012|
Funny thing about getting a hole in your blue jeans. You rarely notice the start of the thing. A small frayed area becomes a little hole. The little hole becomes a big hole. And then the jeans are not terribly useful.
In my opinion, that’s a metaphor for the state of today’s Christian music. I stumbled on to the problem when trying to find songs that would match a series of devotionals I was doing. You can find tons of songs that “Wanna praise the Lord. Wanna praise the Lord. Yeah. Yeah. Yuh-yeah…Wanna praise the Lord.”
But the moment you step away from what we typically call “Praise and Worship”…good luck finding anything. Doubt me? Okay…
Where are the songs that speak of embracing sufering? Where is the musical cry for fasting? And where are the songs that talk about loving my gay neighbor across the street? How many songs have you heard that instruct you to forgive a sister or brother…even when you don’t feel like it? Where are all the songs that compel us to share Jesus verbally? Come to think of it, the last time I heard a serious song about the rapture was “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.” And that came out back in 1973.
There’s a hole in our music. It’s kind of crept up on us—like that hole in your favorite blue jeans. We’ve allowed the feel-good music to fray the very fabric of our song content.
There’s a hole in our music. But the good news, we can fix it—if we choose to. (1:25)
First, we need to hit the pause button on songs that “makes us feel good.” Got enough of those in the works already. Second, we need to intentionally platform songs that call us to a deeper, fuller more biblical Christian expression. Finally, we need to craft fresh new music that speaks to all of the Christian life.
As I finger the hole in our music, those are my thoughts.
|Good and Perfect Gifts
|Thursday, March 15, 2012|
As I write this, directly behind me in my office is a small round table. On it is a sheet of white paper—the visible evidence of a visit from three year old Joslynn Jaeger. The paper is festooned with an arc of seven bright orange stickers. Also on that sheet of paper, tiny crumbs of dried out play dough. She and her “Grandma Di-Di” made two cats—one yellow, one black. They are, alas, both disassembled and back in their respective plastic cans.
Yet the evidence of Joslynn’s visit is still present. Underneath the first paper is another, bearing a partial outline of her hand. You know—you flatten your palm on the paper and draw around it with a pen.
How do you take something like that—with a memory as happy as it represents---and throw it in the garbage? I cannot. I think I now understand Pablo Picasso’s observation, “It takes a long time to become young.”
The problem when we’re physically younger is that we often don’t value things as we ought. I’m reminded of James 1:17, “Every good and perfect is from above—and comes down from the Father of heavenly lights.”
Our problem as followers of Jesus, is that we often don’t recognize the gifts we’ve been given. So we value them less. Hang on to them too loosely…and let them slip through our fingers.
In the younger stages of life, we look for gifts that glitter: shiny cars, new houses, salaries that sparkle.
But with the passing of just a few years, you finally learn to appreciate the scent of a pine tree, the call of a dove…or the stickered sheet of paper left by your granddaughter. The one with the play dough crumbs.
As for Joslynn…she really is that good gift from above. With so much sparkle in her personality, she has to be a gift from “the Father of Heavenly lights.”
There’s no need for any of us to grow old before we choose to learn to appreciate EVERY good and perfect gift.
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