Punch Lines and Ironies

So I used to be a pretty diehard classical music fan, as many people can attest. 🙂 “What…it was written after 1900? It must be no good.” But I’ve grown to appreciate modern music, much to my own surprise. And more surprising than that, one of my favorite artists is a contemporary Christian musician, Chris Rice. I have very little respect for the contemporary Christian music scene…it just seems like in trying to please everyone they have lost the best of both secular and Christian music. My impression is that they write second-class music that’s supposed to sound like secular music and add some second-class lyrics that are supposed to make it Christian. But I have a huge appreciation for Chris Rice. I think he deserves an entire blog post to explain why I actually like his music. For one thing, it sounds real and authentic. I know this is a very vague term, but to me, it means that he knows what he does best and doesn’t try to make music “like” someone else except with a Christian twist. He writes music that demonstrates the beliefs and worldview of Christianity in every line, it is a full expression of what it means to be a Christian. I don’t mean it fully expresses everything about Christianity, but everything about the music is Christian, not just some nice lines or choruses slapped on at the last minute.

Anyways…I’m sharing one of my favorite songs here. I like it because it is such a good way to understand God’s sovereignty. It is playful, in a way, but also deeply respectful of God’s authority over this earth. But Chris Rice understands that we’re all just part of God’s great and grand story, we are here as His creatures and everything that happens is because it is part of God’s story. As characters in this story, we don’t get it. We can’t see the end. We can’t see the reasons for why things happen. But the Author has it under control. And someday we will be able to understand it, perhaps not fully but at least more completely than we do now. So until then we just have to appreciate the punch lines and ironies of this life. Because try as we might, we just cannot understand the bigger picture. We think we have it figured out, we think we see God’s plan, we think we know what is going to happen next, and then it is like, “oh. wow. that’s not it. Ok. Time to rethink life.” And when that moment comes, when all the plans we’ve made or the dreams we’ve dreamed come to nothing, what can we do? All we can do is laugh at our own pitiful arrogance in thinking we can understand God’s will and praise Him for being sovereign and not leaving us to determine the future, because that will only bring sorrow and heartache for sure. When we don’t get it, when we want to question everything and ask, “why?” we should just be thankful that we’re alive and that we’re part of God’s grand story of the world. And in the end, embracing God’s sovereignty and trusting Him in all things will bring more joy than anything else we can imagine.

 

Punch Lines and Ironies

 By Chris Rice

Here we are together
I never would have guessed it

Baby, there’s a reason
And baby, there’s a message

‘Cause we’ve all seen the glories
And we’ve all heard love stories
Stranger than this, stranger than this

Punch lines and ironies
Swirl through the galaxies
Like dust in the sunbeams
That slant through our windows

And heartbeats and molecules
Geniuses and silly fools
We’re all at the mercies
Of punch lines and ironies

Echoes and rumors
Of God’s sense of humor
Leak out of heaven
In the mysteries and legends

And they whisper their glories
Into our love stories
And help us believe
Yeah, they help us believe

Punch lines and ironies
Swirl through the galaxies
Like dust in the sunbeams
That slant through our windows

And heartbeats and molecules
Geniuses and silly fools
We’re all at the mercies
Of punch lines and ironies.

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