You know you grew up in a Christian community when you have fairly specific taste when it comes to worship music. Sorry if this sounds pompous or seems frivolous.
Something I’ve noticed in the past year is that every time I’m at a worship service, I’m always waiting for that one song that’ll get me. Something heart wrenching, something to remind me about the reason I’m singing in the first place. Something honest enough to admit who I really am, who God really is, and really look at the distance of that gap in between. Obviously the gospel is about the one person that bridged that gap for me, but sometimes I think we need to take a good long look at how far away the other side really is before we skip to the part where we don’t need to cross it ourselves.
Wow no, you really know you’ve grown up in a Christian community when you make allusions to The Four Spiritual Laws. (enjoy)
Yes, I’ve had far too many conversations about shallow worship music, selfish worship music. Why on earth does everything have to be about me, myself and the other guy; it’s about who God is. I’ve had too many wistful conversations where I’m the old fart that’s desperate to get the youths back to the hymns. I’m not even the one that’s all that far down that line; my appreciation for organ is only a few months old.
But one thing I miss more than anything is that sad worship song. I know that praise is important and I also know that praising God is more about a decision than a feeling. But sometimes, it simply feels irreverent. I don’t want to just praise and give thanks and let that be the end of it. I want to shout-sing against sin. I want to find a space to rage against my own hypocrite heart that hops the fence back to old masters. I can’t always access that place while I’m singing “Lord I Lift Your Name 0n High”. I just dig sad things. Sad songs, sad movies, sad books, sad art. I’m grateful for the creator that’s willing to go there and get ugly with their own life, because then at least the rest of us can breathe and know that gosh we’re not alone. Someone else is just as disgusting as I am.
Sometimes the souls that walk into a church are some of the most injured, fragile, and angry souls. Yes, some days I want a dance party for Jesus and there is certainly a place for that in church. But some days it feels like the most holy of things just to admit to God what a messed up person I can be. To tell Him about it through a shuddering, tearful body that can’t cope with the ache of my heart. If the gospel is really God’s love story to us, then we’re still in that part of the story where the two main characters can’t figure out how to be together, and it really hurts. Most of the saddest songs I know are breakup songs, and yes breakups are *real* difficult. They just suck. But I think I’m waiting for that Jesus song that reaches farther and shows sadness beyond romantic sadness. We aren’t there yet, He’s still waiting to be reunited with his love, and I want to sing about it sometimes.
Of course, wow Heather you don’t know all the worship songs out there. Wow Heather we need to encourage people. At the same time, I find that honest art is the most accessible to the widest audience possible, no matter the content. So why not try and write honest worship?
Then after we’ve been honest, I personally will jump up on stage and lead us all in a grand round of “He came from heaven to earth, to shoooooow the way.” Including the hand motions.
Bonus: a sad Jesus song I might listen to more than I should