"Somehow it is the balladeer, the artist, the poet, the song-writer, the filmmaker who ends up wrestling with life’s conundrums, capturing or being captured by an idea and then packaging, presenting and unwittingly popularizing that idea across whole strata of societies. Unlike the preacher, professor, scientist and car-mechanic, the artist seems to have a sacred responsibility to come at truth from an oblique angle, through story and shades of light, to cause whole nations to reconsider, take a second look, think again or just receive." Stefan Eicher
Stefan Eicher is an artist who runs a gallery in New Delhi, India. The king of random acquaintances, Case Maranvile, connected us to him. Stefan has some great thoughts and beautiful thought provoking paintings. The concept of art penetrating defenses because it can come at truth from an oblique angle has been sticking with me these days. I keep thinking about it. I know that I have been consistently shaken and moved by concepts that seemed to sneak up on me, tumbling through my brain on the melody line of a beautiful song. So why can't "worship music" be that way. This is my thought tonight. (forgive me) Why must we fall back on the line "Holy is the Lord" or "Fall on my knees"? Because it rhymes with the last line? Because the syllables are easy to match with a melody? Because we haven't interacted with the God of the Bible deeply enough to come away with metaphor or comparison that hints at honest, ground sanctifying awe? I sound critical. I am. I am also deeply suspicious of my own creative crutches, and as the music director at my church I keep asking these questions because the last thing I want to be a part of is a trite, easy, worship service that pumps recycled spiritual air through the same dusty vents. Not that using words like "holy" or "falling" are bad. But what if the command to worship with a new song is a challenge to craft word and melody with the kind of artistry that could awaken longing, surprise with wonder, or shake with fear? Maybe it could come to us at oblique angles.
What do you think? Can we worship that way? I'd love to know what you think.