Tag Archives: music

A new song: “Immaterial” by Sophie as food for prayer

This week I have contributed the posts for Circle of Hope Daily Prayer :: Water. I thought I would entice your to share the joy I found in them by putting the first entry here.

Today’s Bible reading

Let this be your basis for this time of prayer:

First of all, then, I urge that supplications, prayers, intercessions, and thanksgivings be made for everyone, for kings and all who are in high positions, so that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and dignity. This is right and is acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, who desires everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. 

For there is one God;
    there is also one mediator between God and humankind,
Christ Jesus, himself human,
    who gave himself a ransom for all

— this was attested at the right time. For this I was appointed a herald and an apostle (I am telling the truth, I am not lying), a teacher of the Gentiles in faith and truth. – 2 Timothy 2:1-7

More thoughts for meditation

I honor of the 2021 Grammys the New York Times published a compendium of the “19 Songs that Matter Now” celebrating the artists who “got us through a pandemic year.” These artists may not have done anything for you and you might not even know who they are. Most, if not all of them, were not trying to use their talents to reveal Jesus or worship God. So what are they doing in Daily Prayer

Today’s reading gives a good reason to listen to them. We should pray for everyone. There is one God and one mediator who wishes everyone to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth. The seven of the nineteen artists the Times noted this week represent humanity in a pandemic. They are influencers who have a message in a time of great change. For the first time, people who are religiously affiliated in the U.S. dipped below 50% this year — that makes for 52% of the population who could use our prayers.

What’s more, these artists inform our prayers. Music is usually quite visceral, so they may cause your “fight or flight” instinct to kick in. Christians are well known in the U.S., after all, for fueling a culture “war” — they fight. And they are also known for being avoidant,  ignorant, and unrelatable — since they took flight. So you may feel like exercising either response when you hear these songs. But let’s try praying the truth in love in response to them, instead. This week of daily praying together could hone our love into a confident response to a world that is newly challenging.

Sophie and her song

Suggestions for action

Sophie died in Athens in January after climbing up on a rock to watch the full moon and accidentally fell.  After that, her influential dance/electronic album, “Oil of Every Pearl’s Un-Insides” again began to climb the popularity charts.

In the song “Immaterial” Sophie declares gender as a material form to be a dead concept, one defined in one’s mind, rather than by any biological construct. She says once we get away from the dysphoria, the years of feeling “wrong,” the thoughts of never being happy, we are entirely our own mold to design, regardless of any concept handed down by Western European standards of living.  Some people embrace her song as the anthem of a whole new world.

Meditate with Francis’ basic prayer: “Who am I, Lord? And who are you?” 

Pray for people who believe everyone is entirely their own mold to design. Being free of Eurocentric domination is good for Jesus followers, too. But we don’t need to throw out the baby Jesus with the bathwater of worn out philosophy, do we?

Pray for love that creates an atmosphere in which everyone can work their difficult way through life with Jesus in the center of the journey, not just themselves.

See the whole week at Circle of Hope Daily Prayer :: Water.

Trying to Stay Unscrambled

Last night at the PM the team lead us in O Holy Night. At the first meeting we discovered that a “rogue” version had wormed its way into the powerpoint presentation. I’m not sure how this happened, but it was as if the pieces of the song had been dropped on the floor and been reassembled out of order.

It was something like the funny a capella choir doing their famous all-in-one Christmas carol. (Check this out).

The songs that come out of storage at Christmas time don’t always get the concentration they deserve. They become more of a fragrance. They are like background music for the season. They set a mood. So I am not sure if anyone really noticed that O Holy Night got scrambled.

It was a little ironic, however, that the chorus that completely disappeared from the powerpoint was: “He knows our need. Our weakness is no stranger. Behold your king.” That is such a powerful message of the incarnation, in a nutshell, that I would hate for anyone to miss it! — the baby in our cradle, the adult on our cross, hope in our suffering.

It is so easy to get scrambled and miss the whole thing! We start humming along to Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer, in our preoccupation, and think its Christmas! I know that my weekend was full of stuff that scrambled me up good! Good news, bad news, good feelings followed by bad, fun followed by anxiety. It is all too easy to let the sound of the incarnation become background noise to the drama of my own self-centeredness. So I am doubly glad for the persistence of my Lord. I hope when B101 plays Do You Hear What I Hear? I am really listening to what is behind the music and focus – a LOT. Something is actually occurring.