I have a confession to make, but please don’t judge me. I don’t like Christian music. Actually, to be more specific, I’m not a big fan of a lot of contemporary Christian music. Go figure, a minister who doesn’t like contemporary Christian music. Don’t get me wrong, I appreciate the ministry and what it does for many people, but it just doesn’t connect well with me. I lean toward old ancient Christian music (i.e. hymns). I appreciate contemporary Christian music and I understand it’s what most people want and like, and I can sing along with everyone for the joy I see on their faces. However, I just don’t really listen to contemporary Christian music. There, I said it. That feels better.
But here’s the thing, occasionally there are artist and songs that I like and some that speak to me. Recently, Gungor’s new album “One Wild Life: Soul” has drawn me in. It’s weird, the music is strange, but I kind of like it.
So last night I’m meeting with my elders. I love these meetings where we pray, talk, share, and generally enjoy being together. We begin these meetings now by dwelling in the Word, and we always dwell in 2 Corinthians 4:1-12. Last night many of us were struck by Paul saying that the unbelievers were blinded. The thing is though, we wondered if sometimes believers are blinded too. I know I sure feel that way at times. In fact, when I’m on Facebook these days or read the news, it is easy to become blinded. You begin to feel like hope is lost, God isn’t in control, and Jesus isn’t who we thought he was. I then resort to minimizing the teachings of Christ and consider his call too supernatural, too utopian, or unrealistic. I read some things and I wonder if we’re not slowly being blinded and losing our faith and trust in Jesus and his way, just like the unbelievers Paul describes.
And now I’m listening to Gungor this morning as I work, and I hear this song called “Land of the Living” with these words:
I heard the distant battle drum
The mockingbird spoke in tongues
Longing for the day to come
I set my face, forsook my fears
I saw the city through my tears
The darkness soon will disappear
And be swallowed by the sun
I am coming home
I’m not sure exactly why they wrote this song, or exactly what the meaning was intended to be, but this is how I took it. “The darkness soon will disappear, and be swallowed by the sun.” We have this hope. This is what we cling to. This is what Christmas is all about for me.
Sometimes God and the Bible are confusing, but there are these things that we know for sure and cling to: God is greater than evil, God wins, God is in control, his steadfast love is never ending, and his kingdom is coming on earth as in heaven. So we look to the city, sometimes through tears as Gungor describes it, but still we see the city.
Today, let us as Christ followers not become blinded. His way, as strange as it seems, is still THE way. Let’s not lose sight of following the path of the Crucified Messiah and look just as blinded as unbelievers. We of all people, we who are death proof, have the chance to model a peace that surpasses all understanding when the rest of the world is giving in to fear. The darkness will disappear, the light will soon swallow it up. God wins, evil loses. Therefore, we can keep following the path of Jesus, the path of selfless and sacrificial love for the sake of others.