One of the most popular gifts of the holiday season was Apple Air Pods. If you have no idea what I am writing about, then let me describe them as the little plastic pieces people have in their ears. Most of them are white, and they are a form of wireless earphones for listing to music. That’s right; now you can go anywhere with a phone and wireless headphones and listen to music unattached and undisturbed. The result of this gift was seen everywhere I went over my New Years’ vacation. I would say that one out of every five people (pure guesstimate) had in these new headphones while I was out shopping.
I have numerous reactions to this new trend. One of my most prominent thoughts is how it cuts off the human connection and moves us toward isolation. But I have come to land on this one repeated idea. Music is more important now than it has ever been before in human history. People are having the tunes and words piped into their brains all day and everywhere they go. This is making music the most important tool of the twenty-first century.
Many years ago, I heard this quote shared by Ravi Zacharias: “Let me write the songs of a nation–I don’t care who writes its laws.” Andrew Fletcher, Scottish political activist (1655-1716). At the time, I thought it was interesting that a person who lived so long ago cared about the power of music. Then I saw this new revolution that has come with the smartphone, and now I understand it completely.
As a Christian living in the year 2020, we need to acknowledge three things about music.
- The Power of Music. Music can create moods, connect with moments, and share thoughts in a way that pleases us. I bet I could start the line of a song, and even if it was from many years ago, you could still remember the words while associating some story with it.
- The Importance of New Music. For all my ministry, I have heard the older generation complain about the new songs we are singing in the Church. At first, it was open hostility, and now it is more passive-aggressive as people tell me that “worship was outstanding today” when we sing a few more hymns. One thing people are missing is the power and importance of new music to the next generation. Because they can and will listen to it all day, they are drawn to new expressions of faith in music. You may not care about that new song, but it is communicating something to our children and grandchildren.
- The Need for More Music Writers. If the future is going to be impacted by music more than it ever has, then we need to encourage more people, especially young people, to write new music. Instead of complaining, we need to be embracing the power of music for good for the next generation.
Today, when you play music in your vehicle, listen to it at work, hear it in the store or see some person wearing Air Pods, then remember the presence of music everywhere and the power it brings with it. Our ability as believers to harness this medium for God might be the most significant ministry to this generation.