Category: music

the Sacred in the Secular

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“There is nothing so secular that it cannot be sacred, and that is one of the deepest messages of the Incarnation.”

― Madeleine L’Engle

[youtube http://youtu.be/e4dT8FJ2GE0]

Check out indie-folk band Árstíðir singing an Icelandic hymn an old German train station. It’s absolutely beautiful. For more about Árstíðir go here. 

P!nk & Nouwen

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Is P!nk the New Nouwen? Yeah, I said it. You hear me right.

Last week, I listened to Nouwen‘s talk about realizing that our identity is found in being the beloved of the Lord. His wisdom is always simple, heartfelt and profound.  Then I heard this from P!ink and it may me think of dear Henri:

Made a wrong turn, once or twice
Dug my way out, blood and fire
Bad decisions, that’s alright
Welcome to my silly life
Mistreated, misplaced, misunderstood
Miss ‘No way, it’s all good’, it didn’t slow me down
Mistaken, always second guessing, underestimated
Look, I’m still around

Pretty pretty please, don’t you ever ever feel
Like you’re less than f*ckin’ perfect
Pretty pretty please, if you ever ever feel like you’re nothing
You’re f*ckin’ perfect to me!

F*ckin’ Perfect by Pink

So I’m only left to imagine that if he was still around today, he’d agree with P!nk. Nouwen would still be telling us that we’re the “F*ckin’ Beloved.”

“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”

– Henry Nouwen

https://youtu.be/ocDlOD1Hw9k

 

Gaga-evangelism?

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Like her or not, you gotta admit that she’s got style. And beyond style, she’s also got a message. But I found that Helen Lee from the Washington Posts’s opinion that here new song “Born this Way” is laced with Christian themes.

From her attention to human suffering, I’m reminded of the Christian theme of uniting your sufferings with Christ’s suffering. Gaga is demanding that the marginalized be seen as the valuable, beautiful, Christ-like people they are.
Lady Gaga is eccentric for sure. She can be grotesque. She can be vulgar. But she is a role model of Christian virtue precisely because it seems unlikely that she would be. She has the potential to introduce God to so many people precisely because it doesn’t seem like she is doing so. Lady Gaga is telling a huge, devoted audience that God loves them.

-On Faith

Now while she may not be the next Billy Graham – I think that she’s definitely banging a drum of the gospel that the American church is afraid to sound right now. We’re afraid to love one another because it may seem like we agree with where the other person stands sexually, politically or otherwise. Christ called us to love without stipulation (I don’t think there was an asterisk on the Great Commandment). And besides, who say any of us have the corner of the market on truth. Life’s more complicated than that (and so is the Bible). So can we learn from the Lady G? You bet. Now, I’m off to put on my meat dress and go hand out some tracts on the corner.

Any thoughts?