One monthly project for me is to pick out popular songs for our worship program. We use them for our countdown to start, the communion time, and our exit music. I usually try to pick songs that tie into the sermon for the day or the month’s theme. This process usually takes me a couple of hours to find songs for four to five weeks.
This coming month has been more complicated than expected. The theme for this month is community. I am focusing on the table as a place of community for the people of God. As I search for popular songs in contemporary Christian music, I find a few songs about this one topic.
There is an excellent side to the music today. Many of the songs are written about God and our relationship with him. Songs of praise and blessing abound. The downside is that it is always on a personal level. I am praising God. I am thanking God for what he did for me. The community aspect is absent.
I am curious how Covid-19 will impact the topics of songs being written. Almost everything popular now was written and produced before shutdowns and quarantines. Perhaps the absence of a community will create a longing that will be represented in songs.
The New Testament continually teaches about the community of faith as a critical element of following Jesus. The “one another” passages abound. We are to love, encourage, serve, greet, fellowship, and be hospitable to one another, to name a few. Faith is never described as a “personal matter” in the Bible. It is always a community event. We are here to support each other when we are down, instruct when we are wrong, and forgive when we fail. The love of God is present in the people of the Church grandly and gloriously. Even with all its faults and failing, the fellowship of the people who follow Jesus is still the single most incredible group of people in the world. The musical world may have lost this truth, but I pray that Christians, in general, do not.