I don’t think it needs to be said that music is a powerful cultural communication device. And many of you have discovered it to be a powerful tool in your own personal communication with God as well.
Well, we’re going to try a new thing here on the good ol’ Cultivate blog called “Music Mondays.” Each Monday, someone will be posting a song that’s helping them grow in their faith with God, and offer some brief comments on why or how that is. Our hope is that this might just be another tool that you can use to help cultivate a personal relationship with Jesus Christ.
Up for today, a song called “All the Poor and Powerless,” written by a duo called All Sons and Daughters. And today, you’re in luck… there are actually two versions of this song. Click version 1 if you’re feeling in more of a mellow, acoustic mood. Version 2 is performed by a new group called The Digital Age (formed mostly of former members of the David Crowder*Band), and is a little more rockin’. Think early Copeland or States, if you’re so inclined.
Here’s why I love this song and how it’s helping me re-think my faith. I’m currently reading a book called The Jesus I Never Knew by Philip Yancey. And while that work is teaching me several things, one of the big takeaways for me has been simply that when I think I have all the answers about Jesus, I’m never farther from Jesus.
In 1 Corinthians 1:26-31, Paul writes some very poignant words to the church in Corinth:
Brothers and sisters, think of what you were when you were called. Not many of you were wise by human standards; not many were influential; not many were of noble birth. But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, so that no one may boast before him. It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”
Paul is simply echoing the teaching of Jesus in his ministry (see the Beatitudes, for example). He’s pointing us all to a foundational truth: Understanding our broken, sinful condition is the first step toward God. In the life of Jesus, the people who really lit him up and got him excited weren’t the religious leaders, even though 95% of their theologies agreed with each other. The people that we see Jesus having compassion on, lifting up, and helping are those who were well aware of their broken condition, whether they were crippled, blind, poor, deaf, or something else.
For me, this song points me toward the simple fact that those closest to the glory of God are also those most well acquainted and honest with their own sinful, broken state. And this song is an invitation toward proud, often self-righteous people like me to admit the same.