On special songs in my church

Let me share another thought (with my church WhatsApp group). Again not because anybody asked for it😆. It is about the typical special songs presented in the church by Ciezo Mepus (colony fellowships).

My idea of a special song in church is that it should be presented by someone (or a group) who is gifted in music, and ideally by a good musician who loves the Lord.

And frankly I don't have much taste for the typical songs presented by various colony fellowships. Many of the songs sound like unfamilar Dieliekevi (hymnal) songs and quite a number of them are self-composed and in local dialects. There is a similar pattern about them that from the first line, you fairly know how it is going to be (with exceptions of course). I think many young people will identify with my feeling expressed here though out of respect for elders we may not show it.

I wish that special songs get better musically, and hopefully they will with the passage of time, but I have come to some kind of understanding about the special songs which I have referred to. This is what I would like to share, especially with younger members who may be having similar feelings of slight annoyance about the whole thing.

Let me begin with the less important reasons:

1. It is good for mental health. Health is defined not only in terms of physical health, but also mental and social well-being. Singing together is good for health. So, when, say, the senior choir presents special number in church, we young people should rejoice and praise God for their health and their lives. Singing is going to do a lot of good for their well-being and longevity. Not only for seniors, singing practice is a time of getting together. Christians are made for relationship. Even if we worship in the same church, we all sit facing the pulpit and our parking problem also does not help in informal interactions. So, singing practice could be an opportunity for bonding. Also trying to harmonize and standing as one while presenting a song are pointers to our interdependence as fellow believers.

2. Taste of music is as diverse as choice of clothes; and fashion changes with time. There are clothes in shops which you'd never buy and won't even accept for free because they are not of your type, for example, that pink T-shirt with playboy logo . Yet some would gladly pick those clothes and pay at MRP and go home happy with the purchase. You come across Bihari construction workers who play those weird noises on their phones whole day. Yet what is noise to you is music to their ears. Maybe they find entertainment, peace, or a sense of being at home although they are far from their homeland. Of course, there is such a thing as 'bad music', but one cannot underestimate the influence music has on people.

3. It is an act of worship. And in worship, God is the focus, not me. I cannot dismiss a song because it does not bless my heart - because it cannot sweeten my musical taste buds. Worship is not primarily about me or for my enjoyment.

4. Music is a medium and the medium carries a message. For long, we young people have  been caught up with the medium that we have lost focus of the message. Ours is a generation where enjoyment of the medium is all that matters. We don't care if we understand Spanish but we love the new hit song Despacito. We are not bothered if the song is a description of sex. The medium no doubt has very powerful influence over us though we are often unaware of it. Someone said, 'the medium is the message'. That discussion is not for today. But suffice to say here that we tend to misjudge the message of the medium itself. The older generation has a different approach. They would try to push the message through the medium. Lyrics is important to them while it is almost irrelevant for us.

I haven't developed much taste for the special songs I talked about. I still wish that the gifted are given the task of ministering to us through songs. Clearly not everyone is called into that ministry.

I don't agree with my dad in all areas. But if I try to see things from his perspective and context, I appreciate him better and get new insight. And there are certain areas where I won't agree but would give in gladly for the sake of his health and wellbeing



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