A Place at the Table – 18 – Rich
God, hear our voices! We thank You that You have called us into the same creative expression You used to bring all things to life: song. You have made us to reflect love, so today, may our response to Your rescue be hearts filled with delight. Help us to see Your bountiful provision today and celebrate. We are learning to remember those who are suffering as we lean more fully into this fast. We pray that it changes us. Amen.
Most folks who know me know that I cannot sing. I enjoy singing and I enjoy music, but I know three notes – high, medium, and low – and I can’t really hit any of them well. But its a definite joyful noise when I sing. I do love music – there’s not many times that you don’t hear music coming from my office when I am in there and I most always have music going in the car. Seay wonderfully talks of how music and song are our responses to the ways that God works in our lives – he uses the example of Miriam’s song in Exodus 15 as an example. The Hebrews have escaped through the miracle of the Red Sea and so what is recorded next? A song. A song of Moses and Miraim. Song celebrating the victory. Music has been a core part of those seeking justice in the world – look through the history of justice movements and you will hear the songs. You will hear the spirituals and the choruses and the chants – that tell the story of the past and the hope for the future.
For me as I read this, I thought of the book I am coming to the end of – a spiritual biography of Rich Mullins. Rich is, far and away, the most consistent Christian musician I have listened to over the years. There have been lots that I have listened to, but I go back to Rich time and time again for the depth of his lyrics and the beauty of the music. His music has challenged me, encouraged me, pointed me toward Christ – which as I read this biography – that’s what he hoped for. It wasn’t commercial success, but it was directing people to Christ in an honest and searching and real faith. So, today, I think of Rich Mullins and give thanks for the gift that God gave to him of music and meaning and I continue to grieve his loss – taken from us too soon.