Tuesday, February 1, 2011

better than a Hallelujah

I came across this article Why Facebook (and your church) MIght Be Making You Sad.


here are some quotes:

 “By showcasing the most witty, joyful, bullet-pointed versions of people’s lives, and inviting constant comparisons in which we tend to see ourselves as the losers, Facebook appears to exploit an Achilles’ heel of human nature,” Copeland writes. “And women—an especially unhappy bunch of late—may be especially vulnerable to keeping up with what they imagine is the happiness of the Joneses.”


 But, it seems to me, the very same phenomenon is present in the pews of our Christian churches.
Our most “successful” pastors and church leaders know how to smile broadly. Some of them are blow-dried and cuff-linked; some of them are grunged up and scruffy. But they are here to get us “excited” about “what God is doing in our church.”
Our worship songs are typically celebrative, in both lyrical content and musical expression. In the last generation, a mournful song about crucifixion was pepped up with a jingly-sounding chorus, “It was there by faith I received my sight, and now I am happy all the day!”
We can easily sing with the prophet Jeremiah, “great is thy faithfulness” (Lam. 3:23). But who can imagine singing, in church, with Jeremiah: “You have wrapped yourself with a cloud so that no prayer can pass through. You have made us scum and garbage among all the peoples” (Lam. 3:43-45).
So don’t worry about those shiny, happy people on Facebook. They need comfort, and deliverance, as much as you do. And, more importantly, let’s stop being those shiny, happy people when we gather in worship. Let’s not be embarrassed to shout for joy, and let’s not be embarrassed to weep in sorrow. Let’s train ourselves not for spin control, but for prayer, for repentance, for joy.
This made me think about my church. We often do sing those happy cheery songs. But we also sing some that are not. 
This one in particular.
I have a few friends going though some rough times and are crying out to God and this song makes me think of them as well.
Better Than A Hallelujah

God loves a lullaby
In a mother's tears in the dead of night
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes
God loves the drunkard's cry
The soldier's plea not to let him die
Better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Woman holding on for life

Dying man giving up the fight
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes
Tears of shame for what's been done
The silence when the words won't come
Are better than a Hallelujah sometimes

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

Better than a church bell ringing
Better than a choir singing out, singing out

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a

We pour out our miseries
God just hears a melody
Beautiful, the mess we are
The honest cries of breaking hearts
Are better than a Hallelujah

2 comments:

Dave said...

There is a lot of wisdom in that article. At times life is the bitch goddess disaster. Pretending it isn't is a great way to screw yourself over.

It is only by the grace of God we have any hope or reason to be happy. But with that, we can't ignore lifes struggles, or the situation around us.

By whitewashing over the crappy aspects of the human experience, we set ourselves up for disappointment because you can't improve on perfection. A lot of worship songs speak to the perfection to come, but speaking for myself, I am not perfect, and neither are you (or anyone else for that matter). Anyone who things so its deluding themselves and everyone else.

It is much better to sing the blues and out of that take comfort in the fact that there is hope, then gloss over our failures and fall on your ass because you tried to live the lie of perfection - that hurts... tail bones cracking and all. ow.

I am quite confident that if Jesus walked into our church he'd pick up a guitar and sing the blues. Only by understanding the human condition can you ever fully appreciate how awesome Gods grace is.

Not to say we shouldn't laugh and dance when life brings us joy :) Nor should we forget the awesomeness to come. We just have to be careful to not put the cart before the resurrection.

Kendra said...

Debbie, this was fabulous...and I've never thought of it, but it's all so true. I love Amy Grant singing that song, and I love this reminder... thank you for posting!

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