Kayne West – Jesus Walks

Kanye West is an American rap artist and has been producing records since 2001. Like many similar artist, he has a chequered past, and present. He’s been in the news recently for getting into a fight with a photographer.

This is a song from his first solo album, and it talks very strongly about his faith. This song was so important to him that he made three videos to go with it.

I’ve picked one of them for us,

The video follows three people who are down and out, an alcoholic living on the street, a prostitute, and a drug dealer. All of whom find someone to help rescue them, the alcoholic is protected from the traffic by an angel in a wheelchair, the prostitute is protected from a lecherous driver by two children who help her over a fence. And the man who is caught up in a life of dealing drugs flees for his life, but is pursued and knocked to the ground, he is helped up by a bearded angel.

These protectors are persecuted themselves by people from the street, and each of them transform into doves and flies off.

Yo, we at war
We at war with terrorism, racism
And most of all, we at war wit ourselves
(Jesus walks)
God show me the way because the Devil’s trying to break me down
(Jesus walks with me)

You know what the Midwest is?
Young &Restless
Where restless might snatch yo’ necklace
And next these might jack yo’ Lexus
Somebody tell these who Kanye West is

I walk through the valley of the Chi of death is
Top floor, the view alone will leave you breathless
(Uhhh!)
Try to catch it
(Uhhh!)
It’s kinda hard
Getting choked by the detectives yeah yeah now check the method

They be asking us questions, harass and arrest us
Saying, “We eat pieces of shit like you for breakfast”
Huh? Ya’ll eat pieces of shit? What’s the basis?
We ain’t going nowhere but got suits and cases

A trunk full of coke, rental car from Avis
My momma used to say, Only Jesus can save us
Well momma, I know I act a fool
But I’ll be gone till November, I got packs to move, I hope

(Jesus walk)
God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna to break me down
(Jesus walk with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now
(Jesus walk)

And I don’t think there’s nothing I can do now ta right my wrongs
(Jesus walk with me)
I wanna talk to God but I’m afraid cause we ain’t spoke in so long

God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna to break me down
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now

And I don’t think there is nothing I can do now ta right my wrongs
I want to talk to God but I’m afraid cause we ain’t spoke in so long
So long, so long
(Jesus walk with me)

To the hustlas, killas, murderas, drug dealas, even the scrippers
(Jesus walks with them)
To the victims of welfare for we living in hell here, hell yeah
(Jesus walks with them)

Now hear ye, hear ye, want to see Thee more clearly
I know He hear me when my feet get weary
‘Cuz we’re the almost nearly extinct
We rappers as role models, we rap we don’t think

I ain’t here to argue about his facial features
Or here to convert atheists into believers
I’m just trying to say the way school need teachers
The way Kathy Lee needed Regis, that’s the way I need Jesus

So here go my single dawg radio needs this
They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tape
But if I talk about God my record won’t get played, huh?

Well if this take away from my spins
Which will probably take away from my ends
Then hope it take away from my sins
And bring the day that I dream about
Next time I’m in the club everybody screamin’ out

(Jesus walk)
God show me the way because the Devil’s tryna break me down
(Jesus walk with me)
The only thing that I pray is that my feet don’t fail me now

—————

People are constantly at war with their environment and with others, the root of all conflict lies internally.
Life is not easy, especially in the city, so many bad things go on.
‘I walk through the Chi of death is, Top floor the view alone will leave you breathless’ – play on psalm 23, Chi = Chicago. Double play – top floor, top of a sky scraper or heaven?

‘God show me the way because the Devil trying to break my down’ calling on God for help!
Welfare reference – free money but given a sub standard living condition.

‘You say you can rap about anything except for Jesus’ because that would just be weird. Interesting psychology going on. By calling out the record industry and challenging them to play a song about Jesus, the record got played a lot in the USA.

‘Then I hope this take away from my sins’ – atonement

Jesus Walks, Jesus Walks with them, Jesus Walks with me – John 14:6-9 Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. If you know me, you will know my Father also. From now on you do know him and have seen him.’

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Linkin Park – What I’ve Done

Just getting round to putting my Mothers Union songs up. I’m including the lyrics, video, and the note I made from my reflections and their reflections. Hope they make sense and will help you.

 

Linkin Park are an American band who formed in 1996. The song we’re going to listen to is called ‘What I’ve Done’ which was released in 2007. It was also used as the main theme for the Transformers film. Ironies of humanity, and the ill effects we have on the world are the focus of the video. It juxtaposes various pieces of footage, for example a large well fed man eating fast food,  a woman measuring her waist and a man who is so malnourished that his rib cage is visible.

One of the band say the song is about “admitting to your faults of the past and kind of accepting it and moving on and trying to become something better”.

In this farewell
There’s no blood
There’s no alibi
Cause I’ve drawn regret
From the truth
Of a thousand lies

So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

Put to rest
What you thought of me
While I clean this slate
With the hands
Of uncertainty

So let mercy come
And wash away

What I’ve done
I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

For All I’ve done
I’ll start again
And whatever pain may come
Today this ends
I’m forgiving what I’ve done

I’ll face myself
To cross out what I’ve become
Erase myself
And let go of what I’ve done

(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
What I’ve done
(Na-na na na)

(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
Forgiving what I`ve done
(Na-na na na)

(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na na)
(Na-na na)

 

Mercy, reconciliation, politics, sin, repentance, regret.

‘So let mercy come, and wash away’ – baptism reference?

Question over title, ‘What I’ve Done’ is it talking about us individually or the whole of humanity?

God’s forgiveness – our need to move beyond our guilt.
Needing to face issues before we can move beyond them.

Bible – 1 John 1:9 ‘If we confess our sins, he who is faithful and just will forgive us our sins and cleans us from all unrighteousness.

Isaiah 1:18 Come now, let us argue it out says The Lord: though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be like snow; though they are red like crimson, they shall become like wool.

 

Mothers’ Union talk – finding the sacred in secular music

MU_LOGO-rgb-1A few weeks back I did an afternoon for the Mothers’ Union. It was meant to be a ‘Quiet Afternoon’ for three local groups coming together, but I failed on the quiet point. It was my first event for the Mothers’ Union, the group in the parish always meets on a Friday which is usually my day off, and my previous incumbent was an active member as well as our lay reader, so there was little need for me to get involved.

I struggled to come up with a theme for the afternoon, the woman in charge of my local group told me, We don’t like silence, but we don’t like too much taking or discussion. People have done things where we have to move around, and we don’t like that…..but…we don’t like saying still on those hard chairs.’ Another member asked me ‘please…just do something different’.

So after much thought and prayer I decided to stick with something I know about, music. So I got videos for 4 pieces of music that all been popular in the last few years. I also tried to pick different genres so there might be something they all like….???

The most popular comment I got at the end was that they were ‘shaken’. I have to admit, I have never been more proud of feedback in my life. I SHOOK the Mothers’ Union.

I’ll need to do this in different parts because WordPress will only allow me to include one video per post.

__________________________________

This afternoon we will be looking at images of Christ in the secular world, in particular God in popular music which either talks about the artists faith, or could be used in worship but have also been huge hits.

We often despair with the younger generations we see around us, their values and priorities often seem so alien and to many it seems like they even speak a foreign language.

The church is (as we all know) very good at childrens work, but when they get to teenagers and young adults, they seem to drift away and disappear. We are in the 2nd, 3rd or sometimes 4th generation who have not been involved in church.

But not is all lost!!

There are still many places where Christ can be found. Christ is still present in many places where the church is not.

If we can be aware of where Christ is speaking, then we have a greater opportunity of meeting people where they are.

so that in every way they will make the teaching about God our Saviour attractive.” Titus 2.10

And maybe these can inspire us in our own faith, and in passing it on from generations to generation…

Song 1 – Linkin Park ‘What I’ve Done’ (2007)

Post can be found here.

 

Themes- repentance, confession, redemption, salvation, forgiveness, baptism, politics, environment, regret

 

 

kanyejesuswalksSong 2 – Kayne West ‘Jesus Walks’ (2004)

 

Post can be found here

Themes – personal faith, difficulties in life, pleading to God, Jesus is with us all – regardless of what we do.

 

 

 

Song 3 – Mumford & Sons ‘Below my Feet’ (2012)babel mumford

Click for video with lyrics (there is no official video for this song)

Themes – death, loss, hope, finding comfort, remaining grounded, keeping on track

 

 

 

 

Swedish-House-Mafia-hd-wallpaper-studio-shot-portrait1Song 4 – Swedish House Mafia ‘Don’t you worry child’

Post can be found here

Themes – do not worry, plans of God.

 

 

Images of Heaven???? Swedish House Mafia and the Mothers Union

I did a talk last week for the Mothers Union, a further post, or posts will follow about that.

I was showing them some secular music which had either a religious or spiritual message, or talked about the artists faith. I showed them this video from Swedish House Mafia ‘Don’t you worry child’ and the first comment I received was ‘That’s what heaven will be like, all of us gathered with the lamb on the throne’.

Then another pitched in ‘but where are the harps???’ Then the giggling broke out.

But I thought this was a point worth dwelling on a little longer. We’re told that heaven will be a place where “all flesh shall come to worship before me” (Isaiah 66:22,23) and that it will be a place of great joy, where there will be no pain or tears (Revelation 21:4).

One of the things that struck those who watched the video was how happy people seemed after the gig. People spoke in love and there is the iconic picture of someone making a heart with their hands at the end.

I thought this was an interesting image of heaven……

——————–
Here is my introduction and some reflections that were made.

This song is called ‘Don’t you worry Child’, and it was released towards the end of 2012. It became one of the big dance anthems of 2013.

There isn’t a ‘normal’ video to this song, the video they made was filmed in one of the big festivals in the UK. they also used this song to announce that the group were splitting up and this would be their last song together.

20140328-183333.jpg

Over riding message that we are all here for a reason.

Going from happiness and security, when we thought we were in control, losing that and coming back.

Possible interpretations
1) Childhood to adulthood
When you’re a child you are care free, secure and unaware. With time come knowledge and responsibility, everything changes. But we find comfort n our fathers words ‘Don’t you worry, heaven has a plan’.

2) Song sung by Adam (of Adam and Eve)
Remembers the beautiful days of paradise in Eden. At the fall everything changed – sin banished them from the garden and the closeness he experienced. But God still loves them and comforts him that there is a bigger plan.

We’re all God’s children – confused, ignorant, scared, but God is giving us a message, not to worry.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Matthew 6. 25-34 ‘Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink,* or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air; they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And can any of you by worrying add a single hour to your span of life?* And why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow; they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not clothed like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? Therefore do not worry, saying, “What will we eat?” or “What will we drink?” or “What will we wear?” For it is the Gentiles who strive for all these things; and indeed your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But strive first for the kingdom of God* and his* righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.

‘So do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will bring worries of its own. Today’s trouble is enough for today.