Think about your favorite music. Chances are, much of the music you love you discovered when you were in your teens and twenties. This is typically the time when one is trying to define oneself, when the deep questions of identity and purpose and meaning and acceptance become important. And music is one of the ways in which we define ourselves, and in doing so, it also helps us make sense of the world around us.
Bing Crosby released “I’ll Be Home for Christmas” during the winter of 1943, and it immediately captured the sentiment of an entire nation dealing with the uncertainty of world war. The Beatles sang “All You Need Is Love” in the summer of 1967, and it became the defining anthem for a decade of peace-seeking hippies marching for change. Kurt Cobain delivered the anarchistic “Smells Like Teen Spirit” in the nihilistic nineties, and it not only propelled Nirvana to the top of the rock charts, it became a theme song of sorts for the ironically-tinged Generation X. The War generation, the hippy generation, even Gen X—music has defined every generation. As poet Ralph Waldo Emerson confirms, “Music takes us out of the actual and whispers to us dim secrets that startle our wonder as to who we are, and for what, whence, and whereto.”
Music is also a language of feelings. It is indeed true that music can sooth the savage breast. But it can also make us feel happy or sad, pensive or elated, boisterous or quiet, angry or indifferent. We have all felt pride as we stood for the National Anthem; quiet, interior peace at the hushed singing of “Silent Night”; anticipation at the promenade of “Pomp and Circumstance”; and butterflies in the stomach at the opening notes of the “Wedding March”. Evocative, emotive, enfolding—music delivers an unspoken dialogue of mood and sentiment, stirring and spirituality. Music, as they say, is what feelings sound like.
Throughout the remainder of the summer, Oak Hills will present a message series we’re calling “Songs I Can’t Stop Singing”. In this series, we’ll examine a variety of songs, which is another way of saying that we’re going to examine some feelings and concepts and see what the Bible has to say about them. We’ll also be hearing from a variety of speakers in addition to Mike Lueken, including staff pastors Manuel Luz, Lorraine Rothenburg, Travis Carr, and Colleen Gray, so we look forward to hearing from different perspectives as well.
Please join us through the entire summer as we hear—and feel—the songs we can’t stop singing.