As a lover of music I try to stay current with what is popular, new and cutting edge in all types of music (I actually have ‘The Spotify Top 50’ on in the background as I write this). On Thursday night I was watching The Project and one of my musical heroes, Australian singer/songwriter Paul Kelly, was interviewed. I was interested to hear that he loves the current breed of Hip Hop music because of the way it represents the stories from local contexts and wrestles with the issues of our current time. If you’ve seen the music video for ‘This Is America’ by Childish Gambino you can get some sense of the powerful prophetic voice that music and music videos can have in our world.
I wasn’t exposed to a lot of popular music as a child as my parents weren’t fans of Rock and/or Pop. The best I could experience was watching Young Talent Time to hear some of the popular songs of the day… There was a time when I thought that Nana Mouskouri was the cutting edge of popular music, which might give those old enough some understanding of my early musical education.
When I was 10 years old, one of the pop songs that broke through my parental shelter and into my eager ears was ‘What About Me?’ by a band called Moving Pictures. I instantly loved the film clip (although I still have no idea how that slipped through my parents’ filter) and found myself identifying with the little boy waiting at the counter of a corner shop. I was a shy child and having moved a couple of times I sometimes felt overlooked and unnoticed, so the lament “What about me?” seemed to really ring true at that point in my life.
I’m both blessed and fortunate not to feel like that vulnerable little boy anymore, but I do know that in church life we all can feel overlooked, unnoticed and unappreciated at times. I know that we don’t serve in church for the accolades but it is nice to get noticed, thanked occasionally and even complimented for who we are and what we do.
The problem is that in a world where everyone seems to be singing “What about me?” we have a diminished capacity to notice the work of those around us.
My solution… change the track…
One song I’ve been singing a lot lately, and that’s quickly becoming a favourite at our 9:30am service, is a song from the latest Hillsong album ‘Who you say I am’. If you don’t know it do yourself a favour as Molly used to say, and look it up (click here). Here are some of the lyrics:
‘I am chosen
I am who You say I am
You are for me
Not against me
I am who You say I am’
The truth for followers of Jesus, is that while validation from our family, friends, colleagues and our church is nice… it should never shape our identity. We are not who others say we are, we are who God says we are. The moment of frustration or sorrow that comes when we are overlooked can be very quickly superseded by the overwhelming realisation that none of that matters because I am a child of God. I am who God says I am!
I do hope we can be a church that affirms all of its members… not because we feel that it is good for our egos, but because we see God at work in and through each and every person.
I’d love to hear what the soundtrack to your faith journey is, but more than that, I’d love to hear you sing it out in the way you serve in your church and in the community because you are loved so hard by God that you cannot help but produce an overflow that blesses all those caught up in the wake.
Sing loud this week!