(Today’s First Grace UMC Sermon Follow Up)
Today I was responsible for the sermon at my church. We are in the Jazz Fest season in New Orleans, and next Sunday we’ll have a jazz worship service. I wanted to share some sermon talking points and media that can be used for deeper reflection.
Bible Gateway passage: Psalm 40 - The Message
A David Psalm I waited and waited and waited for GOD. At last he looked; finally he listened. He lifted me out of the…
The Biblical scripture was Psalm 40. I use the Message version translation.
J. Cole - Want You to Fly
Want You to Fly Lyrics: Yeah, uh / God is real and he usin' me for a bigger purpose / So fuck the world that would have…
The hip hop scripture was J. Cole’s new song, “Want You to Fly” featured on his recent HBO documentary.
I set the stage by acknowledging the tension that music has created in families and society, referencing a 1921 Ladies Home Journal article, “Does Jazz Put the Sin in Syncopation” by Anne Shaw Faulkner.
Does Jazz Put the 'Sin' in Syncopation?
Stop music: SQUARE button.Play music: ARROW button. We have all been taught to believe that "music soothes the savage…
My points from Psalm 40 and J. Cole’s song:
- Both David and J Cole express a belief that God believes they have worth and value; our job is to make sure everyone knows their worth and value.
- Our message has to resonate with people today; must be relevant.
- Secular values flood our consciousness; we have to be aware so we don’t compromise our values and beliefs
- We need a church today that is authentic. We indicate that we’re a mess too and we rely on God to make something of us.
A couple of other items for further reflection. Here is a great podcast with my friend Dr. James Peterson on Kendrick and J. Cole. He lectured last year for my PHI444 class using both as subjects.
A Deep Dig on Kendrick Lamar and J. Cole's Hip-Hop's Values
The Popcast is hosted by Jon Caramanica, a pop music critic for The New York Times. It covers the latest in pop music…
Here is a recent article about rap and religion- there are a good number of articles like this being written. It references Kanye’s SNL performance of “Ultralight Beam.” My man Derrick “Fonzworth Bentley” Watkins skyped into class a few weeks after to discuss with us (you can see him in the performance). I’ve also linked the performance. This was a great example of the meshing of the secular and the sacred. There was even criticism of Kirk Franklin for participating.
What's behind hip-hop's religious revival?
There is no chapel in Rockefeller Center, but at least twice last year, "Saturday Night Live" was transformed into…
Performance | Kanye West Performs "Ultra Lights Beams" On 'SNL' - Revolt
Ye, Chance the Rapper, Kelly Price and Kirk Franklin hit SNL.
And I’ll end with J. Cole’s song, “False Prophets,” which was the final exam from Fall 2016.