Sunday, September 10, 2006

Love Song

We had a rather amusing conversation about whether a bunch of Christians singing karaoke could be considered "godly", especially if one was karaoke-ing instead of fasting and praying. How could gathering together to sing a bunch of secular songs about romance be "godly"? But of course, enjoying the company of others is one of the most amazing blessings that a radically relational God has given us. Lately, I've also been thinking about how if we are truly in Christ, then that would touch every single part of our lives. God created everything - and all the world speaks to us of him in all its beauty and brokenness. Even secular pop songs about romance. Maybe especially secular pop songs about romance.

Recently, I came across the brilliant, brilliant words of Philip Yancey in a book (excerpted on the Christianity Today website) that I hope to buy.

LYRICS FROM THE LOVE SONGS broadcast on pop radio stations tap into romantic yearnings but promise more than any person can deliver. "You are my everything." "I can't live without you." Sexual desires and romantic longings are a kind of debased sacrament. If humanity serves as your religion, then sex becomes an act of worship. On the other hand, if God is the object of your religion, then romantic love becomes an unmistakable pointer, a rumor of transcendence as loud as any we hear on earth.

...Romance gives intriguing hints of transcendence. I am "possessed" by the one I love. I think of her day and night, languish when she leaves me, perform brave deeds to impress her, revel in her attention, live for her, even die for her. I want to be both heroic and meek at the same time. For a time, and only for a time, I can live on that edge of exaltation. Then reality sets in, or boredom, betrayal, old age, or death. At least, though, I can see in it a glimpse of God's infinite capacity for such attention. Could this be how God views us?

Charles Williams, a colleague and close friend of C. S. Lewis, wrote that romantic love gives us a new vision of one other human being, an insight into his or her "eternal identity." For a brief time, at least, romance gives us the ability to see the best in one other person, to ignore or forgive flaws, to bask in endless fascination. That state, said Williams, gives a foretaste of how we will one day view every resurrected person, and how God now views us. Romantic love does not distort vision but corrects it, in a very narrow range. The Bible uses explicit romantic images to describe God's love for us: What we feel in passing for one person, God feels eternally for the many.

Excerpted from Rumors of Another World: What on Earth Are We Missing?

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