Wake up! Why do You sleep, Lord?! Arise! Do not abandon forever! Why do You hide Your Face? Why do You forget our persecution and our oppression? For our souls have been pounded into the dirt, our stomachs are stuck to the ground. Get up! Help us! Redeem us for the sake of Your gracious love.
I will exalt you, my God the King; I will praise your name for ever and ever. Every day I will praise you and extol your name for ever and ever. Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.
I've really gotten excited about our sermon series this month. Music is a passion of mine, as it is for so many of us. And I find so much of my faith life is tied to the music in my life, both spiritual and secular. If you can actually separate those categories. In fact, I think it's problematic to do so. And in listening to the radio in my travels this week and reflecting on this series, my mind began to stir.
It's typical on our American radio stations to have genre stations. Top 40 Pop, classic rock, oldies, jazz, classical, rap/R&B, foreign language, news/sports/talk, country, and a new one to me as I was driving through SC... Christian country? And more choices if you have subscription radio or Pandora and so forth. And some stations proudly advertise playing "anything." What has always struck me is how easy it is to know exactly what station I'm listening to within seconds, especially a "Christian station." Because as we look at scripture, it's much harder to tell because scripture contains a broad catalog of genres.
Can you imagine the same crew of folks presiding over what gets included in the Bible made up of people from a Christian radio station programming committee? "Job, we just can't play your stuff. It's too Emo! And who on earth wrote these Lamentations?! This is worse than death metal. Don't get us started on Song of Solomon! What are we, 50 Shades of something?"
As we encourage you to read, pray, and memorize Psalms, I hope you will notice and embrace the variety of genres among them, their themes and tones. And I hope you will notice and appreciate that variety in the rest of scripture. As you appreciate a wide variety of music because of your personality or mood or circumstances in life, I hope you'll recognize the blurred line between secular and sacred. I hope you'll find that themes and messages of affirmation and resonance will be present in your favorite 'secular' songs and various scriptures. I hope you'll share your favorites with me and they will be a part of your prayer life and reflections.
Prayer for Today
Lord, as I listen to music and read scripture, help me to be guided, comforted, and challenged to a deeper relationship with you and your people, growing in wisdom and knowledge, and expressing myself in ways that bring glory to you. Amen.