Classic church service music isn’t normally my thing, but it’s grown on me, and I have a new appreciation for the music. This past weekend the song entitled “My Worth is Not in What I Own” really moved me. You can check it out here (176) Keith & Kristyn Getty – My Worth Is Not In What I Own ft. Fernando Ortega (Official Lyric Video) – YouTube. It’s a touching tribute to our Lord, and there are many aspects of it I could write about – I’m going with the one that made me laugh. I laughed thinking about how my taste in music has changed, especially since my return to the Lord. It’s not something that was forced or that I thought about, it just changed.
Do you remember Casey Kasem’s Top 40 Casey’s Top 40 – Wikipedia? That’s what I grew up on – oh yes, there was my parents’ music as well but that’s been blocked out of my memory. When I was in ninth grade, a Led Zeppelin cover band played at our school and that experience began my love of rock music and then eventually metal music.
“What’s your go to song when you’re frustrated?” A friend asked me once back when metal was my thing.
“Cowboys from Hell, by Pantera.” I didn’t hesitate. For the longest time, it was my Friday morning war song on the way to work because it pumped me up for the most grueling day of my work week. But if I were asked that question today, my answer would be Jeremy Camp’s song “Word of Life.” You can check it out here (176) Jeremy Camp – Word Of Life (Lyric Video) – YouTube.
Modern Christian rock music can be found most anywhere (in the U.S. anyway) but I first heard it when I returned to church, and it was a stealthy game changer for me. My younger brother Todd and I used to attend concerts together and our musical tastes used to be similar, but not anymore – which we discovered during a recent visit.
“Do you listen to anything we used to listen to?” He asked me at one point.
“No. I just… I like the calm Christian music brings me.” And that’s just it because no matter how hard the beat or fast the tempo, Christian rock is still about the Lord in some kingdom form or fashion. That’s what’s so great about the dichotomy in music; it has a range of emotions like ours, and at a variety of speeds.
This contrast in music and of the effects that music can have on each of us individually played with my mind a little bit the other day when studying 2 Samuel, Chapter 6. David had just become king and after a failed first attempt at bringing the ark of the covenant back to Jerusalem, he successfully got the ark to its destination. Celebration ensued with music, dance, and food, and the King got footloose along with his people. Picture the scene – something like an outdoor festival with free entertainment and food (a rare find these days). The music was most likely upbeat. Amid all that though scripture tells us that David’s wife “looked down from the window…and she despised him in her heart” (2 Samuel 6:16).
Have you ever been to a concert where most everyone around you is grooving to the music or jumping or headbanging and then you spot one person that just isn’t feeling it? That’s how I picture Michal in 2 Samuel, Chapter 6. But what happened because in 1 Samuel 18:20 we’re told, “Now Saul’s daughter Michael loved David…” It’s like she went from listening to the song “Walking on Sunshine” by Katrina & The Waves to listening to Alissa Cara’s “Out of Love” – one extreme to the other.
“Singing light songs to the heavyhearted is like pouring salt in their wounds.” – Proverbs 25:20
My earliest memories of music are from when I was around five years old – I was kidding earlier, I didn’t really block out the music my parents listened to. When we would travel from New York to Ohio to visit family my mom would always listen to an 8-track tape of Engelbert Humperdinck. My dad’s favorite was Frank Sinatra – the song “My Way” and the odor of cigarette smoke can deport my mind into another space and time. The first hymn I can remember is Amazing Grace. Mom used to play it for me on a toy piano that I had when I was a kid. What are your earliest memories of music?
Whatever your music memories, maybe the Holy Spirit will surprise you with a change of melody.
“Oh come, let us sing to the LORD; let us make a joyful noise to the rock of our salvation.” – Psalm 95:1