July 13, 2017

Reconnecting

I was warmly greeted by the members of a small church; however, as I waited for the services to start it was the instrumental medley played on the piano that truly welcomed me and made me feel that I’d come home to the church of my youth. As each selection was played the words to the familiar songs flooded not only my mind, but my heart as well. “Just a Closer Walk With Thee,” “Morning Has Broken,” “This is My Father’s World,” and “Great is Thy Faithfulness.” The psalmist, who seems to understand the yearning many of us have to reconnect with spiritual and emotional past, wrote, “How lovely is your dwelling place, O LORD Almighty! My soul yearns, even faints, for the courts of the LORD; my heart and my flesh cry out for the living God” (Psalm 84:1-2 NIV).

3 comments:

Pumice said...

What makes me sad for the younger generation who always needs the latest tunes and rhythms is that none of songs will endure like some have. Think of the choruses we used to sing. If someone plays them we say, "Oh, I remember that," but they are not instilled in our hearts.

Grace and peace.

Gail Marvel said...

Absolutely! I so appreciate having the words of many old hymns come back to mind when the tune is played. It's like running into an old friend. Such a comfort that the newer generation will not experience in the same way.
Gail

Steve Corey said...

Gail;

I think there are a few of these contemporary tunes that would become classics, if this age had enough time left. Most tunes written over the centuries molder in dusty old hymnals known by nobody today, and maybe not too many more in the past. Truly classic music is not a genre. It is just stuff which connects to the hearts and souls because it is good. Then as it played over and over throughout the decades it built meaning into the people. That is, like Pumice said, they become instilled in our hearts. They become a part of our emotional structure in which their lyrics stir up connections with the past, with the many years and troubles and joys that make up our psychological being. The people who castigated the classic sounds and culture of God’s people did not do that out of love. Love is not described by demanding your own way while tearing down what is part of the inner being of brothers and sisters.
This contemporary stuff will build its way into people’s hearts and souls, too. It will do so the same way the music of old did, most will fall by the wayside having not been produced by enough talent to survive, but a little will capture the hearts and minds of everyone it touches.
And let us not forget that God’s objective for us is to capture hearts and minds for Him. We do that by participating in the salvageable meanings of the people needing captured wherein we can present new meaning of Jesus Christ by loving behavior. But to do so, we must not abandon our post of duty alongside the brothers and sisters we grew up with. Even more, we must not demand others to be us, like these new Christian rock-and-rollers demanded everyone to become them or leave. Whoa!
I am forever reminded by contemporary Christian music of the selfish, self-appointed, power drunk attitudes of the people who pushed and shoved it into the churches. Like Warren said, “…there’s got to be some blessed subtraction before there can be any blessed addition.” That is, “If you don’t like what we’re doing here, go to the church down the street.” It is the most anti-I Corinthians 13 attitude one can dredge up from a gutter, especially seeing it being said to the very people who built the church facility in which it was being said. Unfortunately, even though I am beginning to enjoy, admire, and build meaning from much of the contemporary tunes, those memories of its churlish birth into the church will always haunt my participation in it. It’s background is a far cry from that of say “A Mighty Fortress is Our God”.

Love you all,
Steve Corey