You Ought to Know Rich, Part II

Part I here.

My two oldest kids take piano every Friday.  Cameron just reached the point where he is able to transpose a bit and play popular songs in different keys.  The teacher and I were talking about the songs he had chosen, and he commented on how easy it was to find popular music or Christian music for his less-experienced students, because so many of them have the same exact chord progression in different keys.

At first he sounded excited about this, but as we talked about it more, his voice trailed off a bit and he said, “It’s really pretty boring.”

And the moon is a sliver of silver
Like a shaving that fell on the floor of a Carpenter’s shop 
 And every house must have its builder 
And I awoke in the house of God 
Where the windows are mornings and evenings 
Stretched from the sun 
Across the sky north to south 
And on my way to early meeting 
I heard the rocks crying out 
I heard the rocks crying out 

When I turn on the Christian radio station and the music is cutesy and shallow, it’s a big disappointment to me.  Currently, there is one song that’s so bland, it’s featured in a department store commercial on TV.  Is this what God-honoring creativity has gotten us?  Advertising jingles?

Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands 
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land 
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made 
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise

When I was in college, I attended a conference at Calvin college where I heard a professor suggest that secular music, too, can be used in the life of believers.  He questioned the disparity between Christian and secular music and resented the “Jesus factor” that existed in Nashville.  We then proceeded to listen to Natalie Merchant’s song “King of May,” which is one of the most moving pictures of the crucifixion of Christ I’ve ever heard.

And the wrens have returned and they’re nesting
In the hollow of that oak where his heart once had been 
And he lifts up his arms in a blessing for being born again 
And the streams are all swollen with winter 
Winter unfrozen and free to run away now 
And I’m amazed when I remember 
Who it was that built this house 
And with the rocks I cry out

I get excited when people get creative and it glorifies God.  Storytelling, metaphor, symbolism;  these are all tools that we see being used in the Bible.  Christians have the greatest story to tell:  the one that is told and re-told in nature, in classic literature, and in redemption stories all around us.

Be praised for all Your tenderness by these works of Your hands
Suns that rise and rains that fall to bless and bring to life Your land 
Look down upon this winter wheat and be glad that You have made 
Blue for the sky and the color green that fills these fields with praise


One thought on “You Ought to Know Rich, Part II

  1. Pingback: Rich Mullins, Twenty Years Alive | kellkell

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