Friday, April 01, 2005

Incite Worship

Boomboxes can be traced back to rather humble beginnings in the mid-1970s. Back then the idea of a personal stereo was a bit of a novelty, but it didn't take long for the boombox boom to begin. Soon everyone had to have one. Everyone wanted the ability to listen to their own music wherever they went. It was kind of like having your own soundtrack playing everywhere you were.

Nowadays, we don't carry boomboxes around with us. In fact, they're outlawed in a lot of places. Instead, we carry I-pods or .mp3 players. Regardless, the principle is the same: people can have their own personal music playing whenever and wherever they want.

At this very moment, in homes, offices, cars, restaurants and clubs around the world, people are listening to music. Music is the center of social activities, like concerts, where people gather to listen to music and talk about it. Even when music isn't the primary focus, it's still an essential component -- imagine for instance a wedding or a party without music. Boring. Take away the music, and you might as well take away the celebration.

The kind of music you listen to helps others know some things about you -- what you like to do, how you like to dress, the people you like to hang out with -- all of these can be revealed by the music coming out of your boombox. In fact, a recent study published in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology says the music you listen to may contain hidden keys to understanding your true personality. Psychologists P. Jason Rentfrow and Samuel Gosling of the University of Texas suggest that people use music as a "badge" to communicate their values, attitudes and views.

None of this is really news to us. That's why the people of God have always been a musical people. Worship flows like water from people who have been redeemed. Young and old, rich and poor, black and white -- we all resonate to different beats, different rhythms, different harmonies but we all share the same song: the song of the redeemed.

What's more: it's not just the music. It's the melody of life -- its ups and downs, highs and lows -- all of life becomes a symphony of praise for those who have eyes to see and, more importantly, ears to hear. Maybe it's time to stop telling kids to keep quiet and tell them to crank up the music a little.