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Monday, October 12, 2009

The Tyranny of Theme Part 3

Hopefully, this is challenging you to begin thinking a little differently about music. My thoughts are not hard and fast rules.

You need to work within your own framework. I get it.

More food for thought . . .

Sometimes, you may hear a song that you are moved to cover in church but you don’t feel like it can really fit. Maybe you are stuck in an obvious-theme rut and you don’t see any light at the end of the tunnel.

Here’s a suggestion:

Sometimes, it is very appropriate to camp on a theme but we need to be creative in the way we approach it so we don’t sound like kindergarten teachers to our people.

Start with a song that grabs your attention. Ask tough questions about it. Pull out “themes” that may not be obvious at first. Pray through those themes. Journal your experience with the song.

Then, turn that song into a “pop up video” segment. Use it anywhere independent of the theme for the day or the theme of the series. It’s okay to bring multiple things to think about to the table on the weekend. Jesus gives us freedom.

Here’s an example of a pop up video we did this weekend. It didn’t necessarily fit the “theme” of the sermon—though it wasn’t totally disconnected.

The song was Space Oddity by David Bowie. Our video was stock outer space footage. The following journal ideas and multiple thoughts popped up during the song:

David Bowie recorded this tune 40 years ago. It remains timeless and relevant.

Rick Wakeman of the group YES played keys on this song.

Major Tom bought a lie.

Some say the song is about an addict. Someone who has removed himself from a painful existence and is trying to cope.

Space Oddity=alienation.

Major Tom opts to remain adrift rather than return to a planet where he—like so many of his generation—felt politically impotent.

“Planet Earth is blue, and there’s nothing I can do.”

Has anything changed?

“My friend, you and I have lived in serious times.” –John Adams to Thomas Jefferson

“Can you hear me Major Tom?”

“But Jonah ran away from the LORD and headed for Tarshish. He went down to Joppa, where he found a ship bound for that port. After paying the fare, he went aboard and sailed for Tarshish to flee from the LORD.” Jonah 1:3

Escapism? Aceticism?

“Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, while he himself went a day's journey into the desert. He came to a broom tree, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. "I have had enough, LORD," he said. "Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” I Kings 19:3-4

Yes, we need healing. Yes, the city needs healing. Yes, our families need healing. Everything is broken. Misaligned.

“Sloth is the sin which believes in nothing, cares for nothing, seeks to know nothing, interferes with nothing, enjoys nothing, loves nothing, hates nothing, finds purpose in nothing, lives for nothing, and remains alive only because there is nothing it would die for.” –Dorothy Sayers

“Now that I, your Lord and Teacher, have washed your feet, you also should wash one another's feet.” –Jesus

“An individual is not distinct from his place; he is that place.” –Gabriel Marcel

What is my place?

“Feed my sheep.” –Jesus

“God's various gifts are handed out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various ministries are carried out everywhere; but they all originate in God's Spirit. God's various expressions of power are in action everywhere; but God himself is behind it all. Each person is given something to do that shows who God is: Everyone gets in on it, everyone benefits. All kinds of things are handed out by the Spirit, and to all kinds of people! The variety is wonderful . . . “ –Paul the Apostle

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