Fender is an “iconic” brand of electric guitar. I know some of you are looking down the page to see who wrote this, finding in disbelief that, yes, I wrote it. Why is Fred writing an article about electric guitars? Well, here you go. Fender reports that nearly one third of all the guitars it produces are used in church praise and worship bands. The older among us will remember that it was in the 1970’s that this kind of music sprung up in churches, with the Jesus People movement leading the way. Today there are million guitar players in churches. Praise and worship music is the most commonly played genre of music in the United States in our day. I bring this to your attention for several reasons. Number one I am thrilled that in a time of general decline on church membership, at least this form of music is prominent. No matter what one thinks of it. It is church music and it does strive to glorify God and inspire worshipers. Praise music played in church is the most common genre of music in our country! The intersection of church and culture has always been one of creativity. The other thing is that I read about this in “Christian Century” magazine. Now, “Christian Century” is the banner publication of the mainline church. But get this, the news article about Fender guitars in church uses as its primary reference a piece in “Christianity Today.” “Christianity Today” is the banner publication of the evangelical movement! This just thrills me. Is this a hint that down the line two separate movements within Christianity are coming closer together? In a time when denominations are splitting and fracturing, here is a tiny little whiff that maybe branches of the church might just join forces in witnessing to Jesus Christ. Maybe just? Something worth praying for. Don’t anyone of our members reading this say, “Oh no! Pastor Fred is advocating getting rid of the organ, hymnbook and classical music in worship.” If you notice, our choir has begun our services with a beautiful piece in Latin. We welcome other kinds of music, but we are continuing what we do best, organ music and the best from the centuries. Nevertheless, it is great seeing what is happening on a national scale with church music.
Praise him with trumpet sound; praise him with lute and harp!
4 Praise him with tambourine and dance; praise him with strings and pipe!
5 Praise him with clanging cymbals; praise him with loud clashing cymbals!
6 Let everything that breathes praise the Lord!Praise the Lord!
Let us pray: “Lord music has always sounded before you. Put your melody in our hearts. May the music played in our sanctuary glorify you and honor you always. In Jesus’ name. Amen.”