Maurice is the college/young adults pastor at Ascent Community Church in Louisville, Colo.
I canceled my gym membership once because they played slow and romantic music.
Yep, don’t judge me. There is just something about bench pressing and All of Me by John Legend that doesn't mix.
I believe song lyrics can move us into certain actions or moods, whether strumming an air guitar to a good solo or dealing with a bad break-up with someone you really liked (been there before).
We can move from sad to mad to excited all in a matter of three songs!
SONGS BACK IN JESUS’ DAY
While we don’t know any of the hit songs before Jesus was born, we do know a fair amount about the culture.
I could get into the details but, for the sake of time, I will give you the twitter version:
If there was a culturally relevant artist back then, I can’t imagine the song titles were happy.
But Jesus’s birth brought a new tune.
SHHHH, YOU HAVE TO LISTEN
Within the black church tradition, we have something called a Praise Break. This is not scripted nor staged. It happens in the moment and is unplanned. (If you live by a planner… go ahead and close it).
A Praise Break is a Spirit-led response to the felt presence of God. Usually, in the form of song.
As a young boy I would see these Praise Break moments happen and I would sit there and think, “Wait, what did I miss? Something is different in the room.”
At the birth of Jesus, a crowd of angels (Yes, ANGELS!) began a Praise Break; a spontaneous song centering on Jesus as the One we must revere:
Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, “Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” Luke 2:13-14 (New International Version)
***Don’t miss the “suddenly”; it emphasizes the nature of a Praise Break***
IT’S NOT A PRAISE BREAK IF IT’S NOT ALL ABOUT JESUS
The lyrics of the angels are a great reminder that I am not the center of Christmas (often I want to be and end up in trouble, but I digress).
The song of the angels teach us to stop and remember what matters most.
It’s as if they are declaring “What matters above all has arrived!”
The Christmas story reminds us that it is time for a Praise Break.
Not because of what he can do but because of who he is.
For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Have you made room for a Praise Break this Christmas?
Please let Maurice know you loved and appreciated his post! You can reach him at email@example.com and be sure to like, comment and share. JC