I have a confession to make…I listen to country music from time to time. I must admit one of the things I love about country music is its honesty. When you listen to a song and its lyrics you can practically know for certain what must be going on in the composer’s heart and mind…at least most of the time. For instance, I love these classic song titles:
“How can I miss you if you wont’ go away” or “I liked you better before I knew you so well.” It sounds like the honeymoon is over doesn’t it?
How about these soul crushers: “My wife ran off with my best friend and I sure do miss him!”
Of course if you are planning a romantic evening you may want to pop in this classic “I changed her oil and she changed my life” or “If you leave me—can I come too?”
If you are an eligible bachelor and want to be famous in country music just date Taylor Swift and she will write a song about you. If you don’t believe me just ask Brandon Borello, Drew Hardwick, Stephen Liles, Joe Jonas, who thought he got the last word in when he broke up with her in a 27 second phone call—at least it wasn’t a text, Taylor Lautner of Twilight fame, and John Mayer who hit it big with “Dear John” and “The Story of Us!” I fear Taylor just dates to get more material for her songs!
Like Country music most gospel music has a story behind it. Take the classic hymn by E.M. Bartlett write in 1939 entitled “Victory in Jesus.” I love the words of the chorus where he wrote:
O victory in Jesus,
My Savior, forever.
He sought me and bought me
With His redeeming blood;
He loved me ere I knew Him
And all my love is due Him,
He plunged me to victory,
Beneath the cleansing flood.
Clearly E.M. Bartlett challenged all of us to see the victory in our lives that can only come through Jesus. His words take on even more meaning when you realize what was going on in the world as he penned these words in Arkansas. As you may remember from your history class in 1939 Germany invaded Poland and Hitler unleashed the first shots of World War 2. Meanwhile, Albert Einstein approached President Franklin D. Roosevelt about the possibility of the development and deployment of an atomic bomb. If that was dark enough, in 1939 Bartlett himself suffered a major stroke and this song would be the last one he ever wrote. In his darkest hour, Bartlett knew that “Victory in Jesus” was his and our only hope.
This message of “victory in Jesus” stands at the heart of the gospel and must be our message of good news to El Paso and the world around us. Our only true victory is in Jesus. As we think and dream about the future and vision of our church. It must revolve around Jesus. Jesus must stand out as our message and heart of all we do.