Monday, January 28, 2008


I'm a little weary this morning. My eyes are puffy and my ears are ringing and it all is a result of how I spent my night. Curious?

Five other adults and I drove 17 teenagers to a concert in St. Charles. It's an annual event called Winter Jam. The Christian rock group New Song began this tradition I don't know how many years ago but our gang has been going for the last five. Last night the groups included: Skillet (b-a-d), Mandisa (GOOD!), Barlow girl (uh, a little off key), Mercy Me (mercy me, how long will they go on???), and Connersvinc (very decent). New Song also played. Needless to say it was L-O-U-D, lots of head-banging, heart-pounding, teeny-bopping (oh, I guess that's the wrong era) tunes. There were times of preaching (powerful) and a plug for HOLT International Adoption Services.

Now with my aging ears and not the best audio system, I couldn't hear very well, so I just sat there, clapping, tappin' my feet, and rockin' my head to the beat. I only knew one song from New Song and could recognize the tune of one Skillet melody (believe me these guys were - HORRIBLE - to my 47-year old ears!), but for the most part I couldn't understand I word. They could have been singing in Swahili and it would have been the same for me. But kids understood. And kids were worshiping.

It was a curious thing, knowing why people were worshiping, understanding their hearts but not understanding the words. I suppose I could have worshiped in my own way with a tune, a hymn in my head (Christ the Lord has Risen Today?) but I was more intrigued with observing than participating.

Two things struck me: 1) I need to get my hearing checked. Seriously. I have tinnitus and, of late, had to ask others to repeat their words to me. Seriously, I'm losing my hearing; and 2) what is it like when the events surrounding you are totally not understood either because of language barrier or outside the realm of one's experience. I felt like I had a hint of what the "outsiders" felt like on that day of Pentecost in Acts 2: watching believers worship, in many other languages, but not understanding.

When the "world", non-believers, if you will, sees the church worship with all her heart, soul, mind and strength, do they wonder? Is it foolishness? Does it matter how the world perceives the church? Should the church make herself attractive to the world or to the Lord? I think we will continue to look foolish (as Paul reminded us) in worship because it is against what the world says we should worship - self and toys for self. True worship is getting out of yourself and getting into God. It's not caring about what's happening in front or beside you but focusing your heart and mind in gratefulness to the Creator and Lord of one's life. It's letting God fill you so you will return thankfulness and awe. It's being mesmerized by the King of the universe who became like me so that I can be in relationship with Him. I saw that last night.

One generation shall laud your works to another,

and shall declare your mighty acts.

On the glorious splendor of your majesty,

and on your wondrous works, I will meditate.

The might of your awesome deeds shall be proclaimed,

and I will declare your greatness.

They shall celebrate the fame of your abundant goodness,

and shall sing aloud of your righteousness. Psalm 145:4-8


Rachel said...

I love that song! So cool that you would do that for teenagers. I have 15 & 17 year old sons and a 4 year old daughter. I love that Psalm. Thank you for your comment on my blog. I hope you will be inspired to drop by again.

Marti said...

Good thoughts. Yes, what is worship to one is foolishness to another at times. Have you ever been at a worship service in another culture where you felt: I hope these guys dig this, because it's definitely not for me?

I think the key to understanding much live music these days is to know the words in advance - probably NOBODY could really understand them hearing them in concert under those circumstances.

Here's something that made me laugh.'SkyMall' (the airline catalog) is advertising a new kind of hearing aid that because of its appearance is touted as taking years off your age. (Remarkable!)

Rather than being invisible (so people would not know you have a hearing aid) it is designed to look like a bluetooth headset.

People who see it are supposed to think you are hip, tech-savvy, and/or busy, not just losing your hearing.

Kari & Kijsa said...

Love that song!! Great reaching out!!
Thanks for stopping by our giveaway today!!

kari & kijsa

Hannah said...

Funny you should talk about concerts because my mom, dad, and I are going to one on Saturday. Switchfoot has come to South East Asia! I'm so excited! Mom's been practicing listening to all the CD's we have of them, gearing up for it. She asks me on every one, "What does that MEAN exactly?" I know most of the words of course.

Your concert sounded pretty cool too. I've only heard of the bad ones. I agree with you on Skillet, I can't understand them. Barlow Girl's not my fave but okay. I've never heard of Mandisa though. So...good words. Thank you.

Em said...

I do NOT agree with your choice of words.Skillet was not horrible (i agree that Mandisa was pretty cool). I guess it was their horribleness that won them 6 Grammys and is nominating them their 7th HUH!!!

Em said...

I Would LOVE to see you at either a Disciple, Family Force 5, Demon Hunter, or Flyleaf concert.