Let me be honest, I love listening to music! It has inspired me and encouraged me but as I have gotten older I find I care less about who is singing the songs I hear on the radio. I just do good to remember the words to sing along!
For years, music was a huge priority in my life. I sang every day; followed my favorite artist; knew every word of every song they sang. I entered musical competitions and won; I opened concerts for some famous groups – people who are literally dead now. Boy!! I sound old!! But truth is I was doing this between the ages of 13-17 and the average age of the members of the groups back then was probably 50. I was even approached about making a record by a Christian record producer. But I turned it down because all I ever wanted to do was be a wife and mother.
So, needless to say, two weeks ago when we attended the Gathers concert, I sang along to the top of my lungs with songs I had grown up with. I am not going to lie, I can’t help wondering when I watch those Homecoming videos if I could have been there.
This past weekend we went to a totally different genre of music. We attended the For King and Country /Skillet concert. Now to be completely honest, neither Jeff nor I really knew what we were getting into, going to the United Wireless Arena. You see, I didn’t recognize the name of the group, but there were several from our church who wanted to go. So, because I am so busy, I trusted their judgement and didn’t bother looking them up and seeing if I knew any of their songs.
I am the kind of person who believes you can worship the Lord in about any style of music. I sincerely believe that if you think you can only worship the Lord in one kind of music, and you have a true disdain for everything else, you probably aren’t worshiping God. You are worshiping the music, the tune, the memory you have associated with that song, etc. So, I do my best to discipline my will and desires to be open to what God has for me, not just what I want or is traditional and comfortable to me.
When the group, For King and Country, came on the stage, I recognized most of their songs right away and their testimony and message was awesome. But I noticed, the audience was only semi-participating. Then, Skillet came out and the place came alive.
I only knew one song Skillet sang and I only understood a few words of the rest of the songs. But here is what I did see: I saw a group of young people from the ages of probably 8 up singing along with every song; the attendance was at least double what it had been the previous week when the Gaithers were in town; and what touched my heart more than anything was seeing one young man jump to his feet and raise his hands when he heard the song “Hero.”
Here are just some of the words to that song: “I’m just a step away, I’m just a breath away, Losing’ my faith today, It’s just another war, Just another family torn, Just a step away from the edge, Just another day in the world we live, I’ve gotta fight today, To live another day, Its just another war, Just another family torn, I need a hero to save me now, I need a hero to save my life, Who’s gonna fight for what’s right, Who’s gonna help us survive, We’re in a fight of our lives, Who’s gonna fight for the weak, Who’s gonna make’em believe, I’ve got a hero, Livin’ in me, I’m gonna fight for what’s right, Today I’m speaking my mind, And if it kills me tonight, I will be ready to die, A hero’s not afraid to give his life, A hero’s gonna save me just in time, I need a hero to save me now, Who’s gonna fight for what’s right, Who’s gonna help us survive, Who’s gonna fight for the weak, Who’s gonna make’em believe, I need a hero, A hero’s gonna save me just in time.”
Tears ran down my face as I saw the passion of the people in the audience, who were singing this at the top of their lungs. Words that to me sound as if they are coming out of pain and despair. These people were totally different from the generation of people who had sat in these same seats the previous week. Songs sung previously, were words like, “He Touched me;” “Because He Lives I can Face Tomorrow;” I Will Serve Thee Because I love Thee;” and “Jesus is the Sweetest Name I know”. One generation sang the praises of their King, another generation was calling out for a King to save them.
All that got me thinking. We have a generation that is crying out for help. Their lives are in shambles, homes torn apart, and if you read last week’s story I believe a lot of it stems from what I talked about there.
Here’s what God spoke to me: it doesn’t matter if I like the music! What He’s asking is, “What am I doing to be the Hero to the next generation?” God has called us all to share His love with others. His word says to “…Love one another as I have loved you…” John 13:34-35. Notice it doesn’t have any exceptions that say, “Unless they listen to ‘that music,’” or “As long as they don’t look weird.” We have a dying hurting world that is going to Hell, while we sit on our privileged pews waiting for the world to come to us in the church. If you believe any of this is OK, you’ve bought into the lies of contentment that Satan wants us to believe.
I am so thankful that there are concerts like this. This group welcomed all those who didn’t know Christ. The lead singer gave his testimony of living with an abusive father, his mother dying of cancer when he was 15. He shared how one day in his bedroom he asked Christ to be his Savior, his Hero. It’s time we get real; it’s time we get transparent to those around us and share our struggles and challenges. It’s time we take the hand of someone who isn’t as far along in their walk with Christ or maybe hasn’t even begun one and take their hand and love them into the kingdom of God. Whose Hero will you be today?
This article was originally written April 16, 2018