Thursday, April 28, 2011

A Sense of Purpose

I strongly encourage you to listen to this tune.  Then listen to it again.  (You might want to have a copy of the lyrics with you so that you can keep up with her . . . this girl can spit!)

Invincible (born Ilana Weaver) is easily one of my favorite rap artisits.  (Although she apparently now considers herself "a multimedia hip-hop artist and activist.")  As it says on her web site:
Her spitfire wordplay has gotten her acclaim from Hip Hop fans all across the world, while her active involvement in progressive social change has taken her music beyond entertainment, and towards actualizing the change she wishes to see.
She's someone worth keeping an eye on and an ear open to.

I was listening to some cuts from her debut album Shapeshifters as I returned to the Cape from my candidating week in Charlottesville, VA.  [Which ended, I'm humbled to say, in a unanimous call to serve the congregation as their next settled pastor!]

I especially love "Shapeshifters" -- the rhythm(s) of it, the complexity of its lyrics, the way it feels almost as if there are three songs going on at once.  I've listened to it a lot.  But recently I've gotten caught up in the story of it -- these radical, musical freedom fighters whose mission is "going door to door ta / Reconnect the cord from the brain to the aorta."  They intend to "Stop nothing short of / Everyone understanding / That all the power's within em to counteract this," the this being, of course, this often times cruel and oppressive world we live in.  There's such a drive, a sense of purpose, of mission (if you will), along with a flexibility, a willingness to "Time travel to the next art form we adapt to."
I've found myself asking this question as I listen to this young woman's art -- what if the church was like this?  What if we, in the church, had this same sense of urgency?  Of direction?  Of focus?

Well, it certainly wouldn't be church-as-we-know it.

Listen to the song again.  (Bring along the lyrics if you want.)  Imagine that instead of talking about hip-hop activists she was talking about the people in your congregation.
I have been, and I'm nearly giddy with excitement.

In Gassho,

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