END OF THE WORLD PLAYLIST

FIDDLING WHILE THE EARTH BURNS
FIDDLING WHILE THE EARTH BURNS

I’m not a musician, neither am I touchy feely and emotional about music.  However, I do find that good music enhances most everything we do in life–whether it is worship, cleaning the house, or baking biscuits, music just helps elevate the mood.  That is why my Twitter followers and Facebook friends will observe that on Thursdays I usually post a “Sermon Writing Soundtrack” that tells what I am listening to while I type out the manuscript from all the notes, research, ideas, study, and contemplation I’ve gathered all week long.  My tastes vary.  Sometimes it is Elvis, Guns-N-Roses, Bach, or Sinatra.

I was thinking about soundtracks and the whole Mayan Apocalypse thing and wondering–what would the soundtrack be for the end of the world?  Please note–I in no way believe the world is ending tomorrow.  That is all just junk and only fools would buy into it.  However, it is a fun thought–what if the world were ending, what playlist would enhance that experience?  Here’s my End of the World Playlist.  Note, they are all on shuffle and in no particular order.

  • It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)–How could you not have R.E.M.’s song from the movie Independence Day on the list?
  • Kashmir–You’ve got to get the Led Out for the end of the world.
  • Going to School–This is my favorite Yo-Yo Ma.  It would be very tempting though. to just let the whole Appasionato album play.
  • Welcome to the Jungle–We would have to swivel our hips and heads the way Axl Rose always did.  You know where you are?  You’re in the jungle baby!
  • Lost the Plot–Newsboys.  Just listing this one here makes me miss the Old Newsboys a lot.  You know, when they played rock-n-roll.
  • All Along the Watchtower–With all apologies to Dylan, this needs to be the Hendrix version.  This song has the dual purpose of reminding me of the awesomeness of Battlestar Galactica.  But that is probably for another blog about science fiction (compared to the Mayan End of the World scenario, which is Theological Fiction)
  • The Devil Went Down to Georgia–I’m not a big country music fan, but I think the Mayans would have appreciated the classic from Charlie Daniels and his band.
  • Live and Let Die–The Beatles don’t make my list, but Paul McCartney does.  This is probably my favorite James Bond Theme song.
  • Bullet the Blue Sky–You know some u2 has to make the list.   This great one off the Joshua Tree would do nicely as we watch brimstone boil boil the Pacific Ocean.
  • The Music of the Night–I think this tune from “The Phantom of the Opera” would fit.  I don’t know why, but to me it would.
  • Space Oddity–It came down to either Space Oddity or Comfortably Numb.  Bowie beats Pink Floyd every time.

Okay, that is my list. I would be interested to know what songs you would like to listen to while human civilization dissolves into boric acid.  I thought adding some bonus tracks–maybe some Duran Duran or BeeGees, because nothing says end of the world like disco.  I almost put in Yoko Ono because whenever I hear her sing it feels like the world is ending.

EVEN MORE RETRO SONGS FOR SERMON TITLES

I thought about blogging today about how I intend to celebrate International Worker’s Day, or as it is known by communists, May Day.  Instead, I decide to celebrate it by actually going to work.

A big part, indeed,  the most important part, of my work is preaching.  The best sermons are always rooted in Scripture and flow from an exposition of the meaning.  However, it is good communication to find culturally meaningful ways to communicate this truth.  To that end I’ve been playing around for several years with a sermon series that is based on the titles of popular, mostly retro, songs.  I’ve written this before.

Retro Songs Make Great Sermon Titles

More Retro Songs Make Great Sermon Titles

But today I’ve got some new songs that I might incorporate.

1.  “Changes” by David Bowie.  The key line from the song that will preach well is “time may change me, but I can’t change time.”  It is ontologically true that we change and that the world changes.  The sermon could illustrate the different ways that that church and theology have adjusted through the years and then prognosticate how it needs to further adapt.  And then, in a brilliant twist, the sermon can go to Hebrews 13:8, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”  So much about us changes, but the one universal constant is Christ.

2.  “We are the Champions” by Queen.  Text:  Romans 8:37.  Motif:  God is with us, therefore regardless of circumstances we have victory.  Purpose:  To move hearers to live in the confident assurance that we have victory over evil and sin.  Yeah, I definitely think that will preach.

3.  “Don’t Go Breaking My Heart” by Elton John and Kiki Dee.  I am very ashamed that when I hear this song on the oldies station, for some reason it always makes me smile.  I think the sermon could pivot in one of two ways.  One way it could go is to highlight the phrase “don’t go breaking my heart” from the perspective of God.  When we sin or walk away from him we are breaking his heart.  It could also pivot on the concept of loving one another–from say, 1 John 4.  By neglecting our responsibility to the church and the Kingdom of God we are breaking hearts.

4.  “Pretty Woman” by Roy Orbison.  I know what you’re thinking, WHAT?  But pay attention–The sermon would be some kind of exposition of Proverbs 31.  Then it would finish with the biblical definition of beauty–an inward beauty rooted in integrity, modesty, commitment, industry, and above all, a deep spiritual and rich love of Christ.  That is true beauty that lasts forever and cannot be bought in a jar.

5.  “Can’t Buy Me Love” by the Beatles.  Alright, now I’m just cheating and piling up.  I actually used this on Sunday to open my sermon about resurrecting our financial lives.  I didn’t use it to build the entire sermon, but I certainly could have.  What is interesting to me about the Beatles is the wealth of sermonic ideas in their lyrics.  They were not particularly spiritual in their early songs, but they were relational.

As you consider my songs, please notice that there are no Guns-N-Roses, U2, or Led Zeppelin entries.  I also want you to notice that there are no ’80’s songs.  That means I kind of worked hard on this one, because as a Gen X’er the 80’s is my native tongue, but these are from the 60’s and 70’s my friend and I did it without the Doors or CCR.  See how hard I worked, all for you.