I like house music. In its original presentations and some brilliantly remixed versions. I do look at other music genres as well. Jazz is one obvious, maybe even natural choice. You see, I believe that I am ripe for membership to the “senior citizens club!”
My earliest dalliance with jazz was at university where Earl Klugh was my favourite artist. Over the years, I have expanded my likes to include BWB, Sting, the late Al Jarreau, Jonathan Butler, Stimela, Sankomota and Don Laka, among others. However, my final choice of music is ecletic.
I am enjoying Hillsong’s Live Worship CD just now. Two particular songs, namely, Everyday and For This Cause, are my favorites. They can make it into any good collection (my view).
Here is my take on gospel music; it imbues one with a sense of purpose in life. If not so much of the sense of purpose, it certainly brings me to that point of accepting my vulnerability. I am a weakling. I need God in everything I do. In everything I propose to do. Everyday has the following lines:
It’s You I live for every day / I will follow after you
I will walk with You Lord.
I think far from projecting one as pure, holy, upright and complete, gospel music is a cry for strength to do better in whatever I am working on. It directs me. In every day’s challenging circumstances, in the different conditions I am exposed to, gospel music cools me down in the face of the many questions that assail the mind. Oh, the many issues that need to be resolved..
often the issues are so many that it does not look like one will ever get enough time to address them. Our capacities are limited, our imagined intellectual power finally gives in to the challenges. That is when gospel music gives you the much-needed lift. It strengthens me, raises me and gives me assurance that God is in control.
And so we sing to God – “it is you I live for / I will follow after you / I will walk with you.” Because He alone has the answers to all our situations. We are small, we are frightened, easily scared. In one instance, one may feel some faith bubbling under, and rise to the level where anything seems possible. Then the faith disappears the next minute. And one realizes again that I have fallen short of God’s measure. But God is faithful. He cannot lie! His promises to us remain ever true.
I Timothy 2: 5,6 assures us that Jesus is the only mediator between God and man. Besides Christ, there is literally not much that can be done. The name of Jesus is the only one by which we can be saved.
I watched the United Nations World Health Day celebrations on TV. This year’s focus was depression. I could not escape the difficult situation confronting the world today. One one hand, this brave effort to address depression, and on the other, unending images of human suffering, the bedrock of many of the cases of depression. And so I watched the many signs and scenes of depression; some close to me, others quite removed from where I am.
But we are now a global village. We live in the technological age where the many gadgets which we use shrink the distance between our various and disparate communities. We are kept informed about events in other parts of the world. Often, in real time! So on World Health Day, scenes of depression were aplenty. And my attention turned to those who have given their lives to easing the burden of the affected and afflicted populations.
But we ALL have got callings and vocations; we ALL have talents. We have been given roles to pursue. I guess the only remaining question is “am I playing my role fully and faithfully?”
Am I playing my role in a way that would please me if I got a mark at the end of the day, or week, month or year? It becomes necessary to seek God’s help in order to literally rise to the occasion! May each and everyone of us, in our different assignments, in our different callings, be alive to the fact that most of life is not a popularity contest. We are not trying to show or prove who is more popular, more loved, more gifted or more oratorical.
God says “serve my people faithfully, reach out faithfully to the flocks in your care and do your work with never-ending faithfulness.”
What is our goal? World peace. Love. Understanding. Equality. Helping the needy.
Yet we have taken cudgels upon ourselves to inflict harm on those we do not like. Those we think oppose us. Remember the woman brought before Christ in the Bible by a mob of men, baying for her blood. She was a sinner. And Jesus challenged her accusers – those who had not committed any sin, to cast the first stone at her. Simple test, none passed it.
It is our situation, is it not? We have failed to reach certain milestones designated for us. We call our failings small. We call them inconsequential. I remember we used to have white and blue lies. Trouble is, all were sins, and all were wrong.
And so even our degree of culpability is high today. We try to graduate it and believe “my wrong is not as big, is not as serious, or as attention-grabbing as so and so’s failings.”
The ultimate push should be for a better world for everyone; on issues of race, education, gender. May the Lord help us. Minimize the prejudice that so easily jaundices our world. Let us love another. Build each other up. As members of one body. For if the feet go their own way, and the hands engage in their own gymnastics, what happens to the head?
Help us Father to stop the confusion that is ravaging our communities; stop the self-importance that we have arrogated to ourselves to think that when WE speak everybody else must listen; to think that when WE speak, only our views count.
I read today about “communication” and how we get carried away by the illusion that we have communicated, that a message has been conveyed.
In reality, Lord, nothing has been communicated; no message delivered, none received. And so we wake up tomorrow, and the day after and the day after, with the same problems besetting humankind.
We approach our affairs with unbelievable arrogance. Oh how painful it is, that in a world where we marvel at technological advancements, almost on a daily basis, on an hourly basis, we must still see that world of awe and wonder, with pain, with backwardness, with puny statements that do not build our communities.
We are not building our world. We are not making better people.
Yet ALL of us have answers Dear Lord. ALL of us can suggest the way forward. But only if we acknowledge and believe and live in a way that says only You Lord are worthy, only You can deliver us. Only you can lead us in the right way, on the correct path. For Your Word is a lamp to guide our feet and a light for our path.
Your Word has not changed; it never loses its power. You say it shall accomplish what is set out to do.
Father God we ask in the name of Jesus that You may revive us, renew the belief and acceptance that besides You Lord, there is none.
Above You there is none. We need You in our daily lives, need You in our working lives, need You in our student lives.
We need You in every calling and vocation You have blessed us with.
There is a great call for new approaches to the challenges that beset our world today; there is an urgent need Lord Jesus Christ for new generations of thought leaders, of men and women who can take us forward.
Those who think little of themselves and think more of the mission You have entrusted into their hearts.
We are grateful for those who have listened to Your voice and are working to preserve peace, to promote healing , integration and reconciliation in their communities. We thank You Father for the many professionals who have been true to their qualifications and knowledge and capacities and have gone out to make a difference in the world.
And yet we are crying Father today that many more may still join the train, the train that goes to make a change in the world.
It is not one area, it is not one constituency, it is not one country, not one continent that we bring to You Lord. It’s a new outreach to the entire world for Your Grace and Mercy to shine anew, to bring a new understanding of Your love.
To engender a new understanding Lord Jesus of the extent to which you went to purchase our liberty, our equality, our freedom , our unity. Those words like unity, justice, work, diversity and development, which at times ring hollow, Dear Lord give them meaning and substance. Real outcomes.
With heavy yet hopeful hearts, help us, help me, to sift through the many noises in the world and tune into the correct frequency; Your frequency Lord…
And help us, one and all, to find You again Lord.