What's on my mind.

27 October 2008

Another nit-picky correction

A few weeks ago I mentioned going to the young adult service at my church. I've gone almost every Sunday since. We've been going through Acts, because the idea behind this service is that it's a gathering similar to the way the early church met, or something like that. My only complaint is the music.

Last night's readings were from Acts 10, at the start of worship we heard about Peter's vision or the sheet filled with animals that he refused to eat because they were "unclean" and then God chastised Peter for saying something He had made clean was unclean. After this we sang "My God is Mighty to Save" and "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing". Neither of these are bad songs ("Mighty to Save" is actually descent, unlike much of the CCM that we've sung, IMHO.) but they don't have a whole lot to do with receiving visions. The passage that was preached on was Acts 10:34-48 - Peter's preaching to the Gentiles and their conversion and baptism. The songs we heard during the setting of the table and communion had little to do with the egalitarian nature of God's salvation. The last song we sung was "They Will Know We are Christians by Our Love", which could have a better melody but at least did sort of relate to the topic of the day.

I think the hymns sung and other music should relate to the passage. I think you have more leeway with opening hymns, but musical response to the sermon (or any reading) should tie into that reading. I don't think God really needs us to sit around and sing about how awesome he is or what great Christians we are; and, in church, we don't really need to sing a whole lot on the how awesome God's love is because we are preaching to the choir, almost literally. I think hymns should reinforce the message of the sermon. They can be purely worship/praise but they can say SO much more. And songs are easy to remember, which means if you can put your message to music people will remember it (or at least get it stuck as an earworm for days).

And I haven't even touched on the really shallow lame CCM stuff we've sung - like the song that had unrelated verses and chorus. Does this make me a music snob?

Oh, the correction: Georgia Tech played the UVA Cavaliers Saturday. Not Virginia Tech. (I looked up which one they actually played, and guessed right that he had the correct mascot, wrong university.) This detail had nothing to do with the content of the sermon but it really stuck out. At least to me, a former Virginian, even though I care very little about college football.

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