Confession: the last song I cried to was More Like Love by Ben Rector. And if you haven’t listened to his new album yet, you definitely should, because it’s amazing.
Walking to class with my music playing makes me feel like I’m on top of the world because I have my own personal soundtrack. Music has the ability to move someone to tears, make you angry, or make you unimaginably happy. Music possesses emotion like humans possess hearts and lungs. We cannot exist without these vital organs, and music would feel dead without the innate presence of human emotion. Music is strong and powerful and its essence cannot be explained, much like our God cannot be.
This weekend, I was required to go see Amadeus for one of my theater classes. For those who haven’t seen the play or the film, it is a narrative of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart’s life and death from the viewpoint of Antonio Salieri, his far-less-famous musical rival. The play brilliantly explores the themes of life, love, music, revenge, and death. In one of the opening lines of the production, Salieri states that “Music is God’s art.” This line touched me most because of it’s essential truth. God created music to express human emotions that cannot be portrayed with words, and therefore hearing music is one of the forms in which we see and feel God’s presence in our lives. What makes this line even cooler is the title of the play. It is named Amadeus for two reasons. First, Mozart is not the main character of the play, so naming the play Mozart wouldn’t be quite right. Second, Mozart’s middle name is Amadeus, which means “the voice of God.”
Caution: Footloose moment ahead. There are 29 references to the word “music” and 209 references to the word “sing” in the Bible. If this tells us anything, it says that music should be at the heart of our worship experience. One of the best passages regarding joyful worship of the Lord is Psalm 96. Our purpose in worship is to make our God’s great, to praise His name and all of His attributes, and our sound and attitudes should reflect all the awesomeness that He is. Hint: That means worship should be loud! Psalm 96 is jam packed with exclamation points for a reason (jam packed. See what I did there?). Loud worship is loud because our God is loud and He deserves loud praise. Not only that, but loud music and a large crowd of people worshiping loudly, allow individuals to be loud. This may seem like an obvious statement, but I feel most at home worshipping when I get to use my “car voice” without fear or consciousness that anyone else is paying attention to me. My most intimate moments of worship occur in settings that are anything but intimate.
Last night I went to C3, Cross Church’s service for college students. The worship is loud. I was extremely blessed to be sitting behind a young man who was fervently worshiping our God. I’m talking hands up, dancing, clapping, eyes closed, jumping worship. I was blessed by seeing his obvious love for the Lord, and at the same time I knew that he was absolutely comfortable in those moments of worship.
So, maybe I’m being a stereotypical teenager who wants a little bit of a loud and fast-pace worship experience, but I truly believe that anyone at any age should practice this. It is a unique occurrence to feel completely alone in the presence of God, just you and Him, amongst a huge crowd of people, and I would recommend that you really give it a try. It is a strong and powerful experience, just as is hearing a piece of music for the first time. Don’t miss out on such an intimate experience with God, go looking for it. Follow the music.
- Thank you so much to everyone who prayed for my audition that I mentioned in my last post. It went very well, and I am so excited to announce that I will be assistant directing a studio production here at the University during the spring semester!
- Featured Photo Credit: Kyle Bozeman Adams Photography