Good morning, Church! Today we are continuing with our series on knowing God through art. As such, I decided to make this blog a little bit different this week. While our series is specifically looking at knowing God in visual art, mostly the work of famous painters, I wanted to share some of musical art that in which I feel God’s presence. For various reasons, I hear the heart of God reflected in the artistry of each one of these songs, both those that were written with God in mind and the ones that simply reflect our creator by virtue of being created. I hope that as you listen to these songs, you are able to see God in new places, and feel the presence of the Spirit as you enjoy some of my favorite art. Fair warning, I realize that not everyone will enjoy all of these genres of music: the first three songs are pop / hip hop, the next are two are instrumental in various genres, and the last song is folk rock. So, if you are really opposed to any of these you can skip them, but I would like to encourage you to expand your horizons a little bit and try to know our infinite God in these places too.
Backwards – Kings Kaleidoscope
Misconceptions 3 – Lecrae / John Givez / JGivens / Jackie Hill Perry
Lofty – Propaganda
I owe my love for hip hop to a good friend of mine who introduced me to J. Cole when I was in high school. There are certainly many critiques of the industry as rap and hip hop regularly deal with difficult topics from varying perspectives, and sometimes these perspectives glorify or promote violence and worldliness. That being said, there is also so much beauty that can be seen in the craft: the attention to detail when it comes to lyrics, the raw convergence of experience and passion, using art to confront difficult realities – these are but a few of the ways in which we can know God through hip hop.
Here We Are Again – Plini
Turiya and Ramakrishna – Alice Coltrane
As a musician, anytime I listen to these two songs I am floored by the skill and passion of these two songs, among many others that these artists have created. While you listen to these, I want to encourage you to listen to the wordless story that is told between the notes. Pay attention to the long, sweeping runs in Alice Coltrane’s song, and think about what they make you feel, or listen for the dissonance and resolution in Plini’s song and think about how those things work together.
Delta – Mumford & Sons
“If I speak in the tongues of mortals and of angels, but do not have love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing. If I give away all my possessions, and if I hand over my body so that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing” (1 Corinthians 13:1-3, NRSV).
“For in him all things in heaven and on earth were created, things visible and invisible, whether thrones or dominions or rulers or powers – all things have been created through him and for him. He himself is before all things, and in him all things hold together” (Colossians 1:16-17, NRSV).
Thank you for joining us today! If you haven’t listened to this week’s sermon yet, it is posted on both our YouTube channel and our website. If you prefer to listen to worship music in a playlist format, we’ve got you covered there too! All of these songs are also available on our Spotify playlist so that you can worship as you go about your week. Our playlist is updated every week so that the songs for the most recent message will be right at the top of the queue. We also have a newsletter that talks about more ways to connect and worship with us as a community in Christ, so if you would like to connect with us in that way there is more information about how you can do that on our website. Thanks, and God bless!