Prepared by: Barry Bence
Theme: Music can help us get to know God better.
Target Audience: Confirmands, youth, seniors, boomers, intergenerational, families.
- To hear how music has helped individuals to get to know God better.
- To understand that different styles of music may contain similar life lessons.
Materials or Resources (required)
- Music tapes and CDs
- Tape and CD player
Have everyone bring a CD or tape of his or her absolute favorite piece of music. Play it. Share in a few words why you like it, what it says about you and what you believe in. Let others comment on how it helps them better understand you.
The common experience depends on everyone's listening non– judgmentally to the other person's favorite music. Trust me, that's not as easy as it sounds. Set ground rules like "no grimaces, earplugs, etc." As well, try hard to listen non-judgmentally to other people when they share why they like that music.
Try to identify each piece of music's predominant message. For instance, Roy Rogers theme song, "Happy Trails" seems to say, happiness depends on your attitude, not on your outward circumstances. (For those who do not know who Roy Rogers was, my condolences. I watched every one of his movies he ever made! But you get the idea.) One of my son's favorite groups, Oasis, has a line that asks whether there's Anyone there who even cares. That's a little deeper than old Roy's song. But it, too, raises a good point.
The challenge is to try to come up with the universal human situation that this song addresses. Some commentators have pointed out that 80% of all songs deal with broken relationships. Others wonder who am I sexually? Some refer to our cultural anxiety. Others may contain memories of experiences from an older generation that we aging boomers would like to pass on.
If appropriate, try rearranging the cards so that different songs are grouped together around similar themes such as loneliness, happiness, etc. Do different songs from wildly different artists all try to speak to the same human questions we all raise?
Ask yourselves, which of these pieces of music are likely to be enjoyed 10 or 20 or even 50 years from now? Will these songs help us better face whatever those new days bring?
The Psalms encourage us to "sing to the Lord a new song." Ask each other, which of your songs would the Trinity like to listen to tonight?
Revelation 15:3-4 for one such song.
Revelation 5: 11-14 has the words to another.
- Which, if any, of your songs belong in the same concert hall?
- Do any of them reach above our daily lives to help us sing about the role God plays in our lives?
Someone wrote, "Those who hear not the music think the dancers mad." Some feel that our generation has a lot of people who can't or won't hear the music from heaven's FM Stereo station.
Play a selection from the leader's collection of faith–full music. Then have the leader say a few words how that music helped him or her get to know God better.
Have someone read Psalm 150, perhaps with any one of the previously played selections as background music. (CDs can praise the Lord as well as harps and timbrels.)
As the music dies away have someone pray this prayer:
God of harmony, God of silence, you call us each to be one special note in your great symphony called creation. Let all we say and do be a song of love, performed for an audience of One, the Trinity and overheard and applauded by all time and all places. Amen.
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