(If you're easily triggered about things like booze, don't watch. You've been warned.)
(Still, you've been warned.)
The video that came along was visually clever, but musically about as predictable as possible. The slow build over repetitive guitars, the rather vague lyrics, the rather thin wastrel voice ... it's a worship song! And it is, of a sort.
Directness in our music is a valuable thing. There's value in naming who and what we sing about early and often. I hope that is so obvious that it didn't really need saying.
What might need saying is that such directness is also useful, even needful, when our designated 'worship' is over.
We suffer, I think, from an unwillingness or inability to speak directly. We get fumble-mouthed, or we count on others -- better speakers than we, or more informed, or something -- to do the speaking for us. Whether it is from fear of seeming "too political" or simply fear of not being able to back up what we say, we shrink back.
Well, if "politics" is at root the basic mechanisms by which human beings get things done or not, it is inevitable for the church to be "political" unless it locks itself up tight in the sanctuary and never sticks its head out. And for the backing it up part, I'm pretty sure your pastor would love to help with that.
For this Reformation Sunday I had the silly epiphany that the word "Protestant" invariably contains the word "protest" if you actually spell it right. You'd be hard-pressed to know that if your only clue about mainline Protestantism was its public behavior, or that would have been the case in an awful lot of places before Charlottesville. Even so, in other venues the fellow clergy of those hardy souls haven't picked up that torch so much. With a few notable exceptions in high places, the mainline can be awfully muted.
That helps nothing.
This is one of those sermons I preach mostly because I need to hear it; if it's useful to anyone else, good.
So, mainliners (especially the painfully introverted ones), how do we speak up and speak clearly?
So, anybody wanna go nail some theses to the door?