I think we’re all afraid.
Different reasons in each case, but I know that my American friends — who comprise the majority of readers here — are wondering quite literally which way the wind is going to blow. Communities not devastated by hurricanes and tornadoes have been shattered by gun violence. It makes you want to build a shelter in the basement and then just stay there.
I base some of this on a monitoring of some of the worship songs that some churches did over the weekend. A recently released song by Tim Timmons invites me to Cast My Cares while Sunday Setlist founder Fred McKinnon borrowed a mainstream music song, Home by Phillip Phillips which reminds us we’re not alone.
Years ago, in a very accusatory tone, people said, ‘Christianity is a crutch.’ In other words, people who can’t get by need a faith to face the hard times. But in 2013, I believe that while we need the God’s strength to face each moment of the day, we want to have a faith that is more than just a coping mechanism.
Jesus promised us an abundant life. The Greek translated means in great quantity and in superior quality. ‘Where is that abundant life?’ people might well ask. Of course an abiding joy doesn’t mean circumstances are perfect and everybody is — to quote a children’s song from another era — “inright, outright, upright, downright happy all the time.” No, an abiding joy transcends the circumstances; it is joy in trials, peace in storms.
…Still, I think you’re going to see more worship songs that deal with our anxieties and our fears. Our own worship this morning began with the Brenton Brown song All Who Are Thirsty.
All who are thirsty
All who are weak
Come to the fountain
Dip your heart in the stream life
Let the pain and the sorrow
Be washed away
In the waves of His mercy
As deep cries out to deep
We sing Come, Lord Jesus, come
Our music and our sermons are allowed to reflect the times we live in and the situations we face. God’s Word doesn’t change and we need our worship and teaching to be Word-directed and Word-centered, but at the same time, we have to acknowledge the felt needs people are experiencing.
The past weekends at Thinking Out Loud have contained a number of columns that Monday-to-Friday readers miss. Be sure to scroll through the back pages of the blog and feel free to comment.