Thursday, July 01, 2004

music to my ears

Are you ever moved by songs on the radio? Its weird. I used to listen to Christian music in my car as I drove to and fro. This was how I really "worshiped" and "praised" God through song during the day. As Christian music shifted more toward overt worship songs, I did the same. I listened to mostly straight up worship songs. But my worship has changed.

Now I listen to Five for Fighting, Cold Play, and Alanis Morissette for my inspiration. Is that weird? It just seems like these people tend to write beautiful poetry about life. And because God seems to reveal Himself through all aspects of life, I find Him in the music. I find Him in the lyrical compositions of those whose lives are full of sin and despair. Maybe because part of me can relate. Yet there seems to be hope even in their songs.

Is it weird that "Its' Been a While" by Staind moved me in a more powerful way today than most of the songs I sing on Sunday morning? Is it weird that the most profound "worship" song on the radio these days is by Alanis Morissette?

You see everything
You see every part
You see all my light
And you love my dark
You dig everything of which I am ashamed
There isn't anything to which you can't relate
And you're still here.

These musicians are brilliant. God certainly has blessed them with their lyrical and musical artistry. And as they use their gift for their own glory, I see the glory of God. I don't really know what to make of all of this. Part of me wants to give myself to the emotions of the music. Part of me doesn't trust the lyrics because they come from a life which has not been transformed by Christ. So I am partially guarded and partially enthralled.

Authenticity has something to do with it. I am moved by authentic songs. And some of the songs I hear on the radio seem more real than the average "praise" song. But some worship songs are amazing, and I am moved by them as well. Some hymns are so perfectly crafted that I can't help but pour out the tears when I sing them. I guess I am just amazed that God can use all of His creation, even those who have not acknowledged His existence and sovereignty.

I also think another part of it is the Spirit giving us ears to hear. When God gives us ears to hear, we can hear the Spirit speak through all of creation. Regardless of the song writer's intention for the lyrics, the Spirit has a way of transforming and resurrecting them so that they become words of life rather than death. Those who have ears to hear....let them hear.


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