Easter's almost here! What a glorious holiday -- what victory there is in that empty tomb!
One of my all-time favorite songs is "Arise" by Newsong. It is an absolutely powerful drama, set to music. When I hear it, the words just speak to my heart in deep, deep places.
This morning as I drove to work, I crested a hill in time to see the beginning of the sunrise as its rays shot upward. Wondrous colors -- golden-hued pinks, blues, purples -- all painted in the sky a magnificent scene.
And at that very moment, the radio began playing this song. Right there in the car, I worshipped God from the heart. Tears streamed down my face and I raised my hand as I sang along with the music, in gratitude for the sacrifice made by Jesus. How precious was the moments spent in worship, even as I drove the car.....
As the last notes of the song faded, I sort of "came back to earth."
There's a bearded guy in a red pickup truck, passing me in the other lane; the lady I see every morning in the dark blue SUV is right behind me. A tractor trailer truck zips up the road ahead of me. For an instant, I am puzzled. Didnt THEY all just experience that glorious song???!!!
Didnt THEY all just feel the spirit moving????!!!
How can you hear that song and NOT be moved?
And then I realized...most likely they didnt hear that song. They might have been listening to Maddie in the Morning, or Bob & Sherri, or 96.5 The Drive, or talking heads on NPR Talk Radio....
I laughed at myself, for thinking (even momentarily) that everybody was hearing and feeling the same thing I was.
Then, I contemplated...What a blessing they missed by not *hearing* that song!
And it reminded me that sometimes we might hear the song but not REALLY HEAR the song.
Recently, I heard someone sing this song at a worship service. They did a good job of it and I enjoyed it a lot. To me, listening to and understanding the lyrics in a song create a totally different "world" in the music. But as I saw this person perform the song, I realized...he knew the words and were singing them in the right tune, but I dont think he was really HEARING the words, even as they came from his own mouth. I mean, the guy stood there singing the song with his hands stuffed in his pockets -- he could have just as easily been singing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" or something.
Just as I'd felt for the drivers of the vehicles sharing the highway this morning, I felt sorry for what the singer was missing.
While he sang the song beautifully, he didnt seem to *feel* the song. It was as if he was saying the syllables of a foreign language, not fully comprehending the meaning of the words he uttered.
It is difficult, at times, to live in this world. We are bashed and battered, tempted and seduced, taunted and toyed with by all sorts of earthly sensations. It is so easy for us to miss out on blessings that God has prepared, just for us -- such as a golden sunrise or stirring song -- simply because our attention is turned elsewhere.
As we approach Good Friday, we followers of Christ must be mindful that we are IN this world, but not OF it. Our focus must remain steadily on the Cross, on the empty tomb, on the Savior who rose from the dead!
I challenge you -- to really listen to the Scriptures, the songs, the music of this Easter Season. Share the love, the joy, the peace of Jesus Christ as you celebrate his resurrection! For just a moment....close your eyes, focus on Christ, and listen....