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The Looking Glass

A New and Uplifting Jam

Olivia Haste '18

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If you are like most of the teens in the world, every time you hear your favorite song you might say “That’s my jam!” excitedly. Have you ever listened to the words in the song? Many songs coming out today have dark themes underneath the words we hear. If you’re looking for a more positive tune, try listening to Christian contemporary music. I promise the songs are not the classical church hymns we sing at Mass every day. These melodies are very similar to American pop music, they just have deeper and more meaningful words.

Singers and groups like Matt Redman, Matt Maher and Hillsong United perform upbeat and danceable tunes all the way to deep and beautiful ballads in the name of Jesus Christ. Being a singer myself, Christian contemporary music spoke to me and created the faith and love for God I feel today.

For Catholics living in or around Boston there are several ways to participate in live performances of these incredibly written songs. The most popular for young people and adults alike is Lift Ministries. In November, I was able to attend and enjoy one of these Lift nights. The band who runs Lift performs songs, gives inspirational talks, and offers adoration and reconciliation. Lift is truly a life changing experience, and we, Boston area residents, are lucky to have such an amazing Catholic, spiritual outlet.

Now you may be asking yourself, why sing to God? Isn’t praying enough? Praying and talking to God, is always enough. God seeks our words in any form, but as the saying goes; “He who sings, prays twice.” We can form words and thank God in our own ways, but the words of the music can mean different things for different people. One of my favorite songs to listen to when I’m feeling down is an upbeat song call Blessed Be Your Name sung by Matt Redman. For me, the most powerful lyrics within the song are: “You give and take away, but my heart will choose to stay. Oh Lord blessed be Your name.”

For the past four summers, I have attended a Christian camp up in New Hampshire. Every morning after breakfast, all the campers, staff members, and counselors would head out to the chapel to sing God these amazing songs. One counselor, named Zoë, is studying music at Belmont University in Nashville to become a Contemporary Worship Leader. After starring as leading roles in her high school’s theatre productions, she realized that God called her to Nashville, Tennessee to his share His graces through music. Needless to say, she couldn’t be happier with the path God has chosen for her. Everyday she glorifies Him using her favorite way to pray. What could be better than that?

Christian Worship leaders all over the world call out to God through music. Worship leader Timothy Keller tells his audiences, “We are called not simply to communicate the gospel to nonbelievers; we must also celebrate the gospel intentionally before them.” What better way to celebrate then through the music that brings God through our souls.

The great thing about these powerful songs is that they aren’t just for when you are feeling blue or your spirits are low. You can work out to Apple Music’s premade Christian Workout Songs playlist, or softly listen to the slower and calmer songs while you are doing your homework. In 1 Thessalonians 5:16-17, God tells us to “Always be joyful. Never stop praying.” Singing these  Christian songs is most definitely praying. And if we never stop singing them, we can always be joyful. Go on YouTube and check out these amazing songs:

 

Hillsong United:

Oceans (Where Feet May Fail)

Desert Song

Lead Me to the Cross

How Deep the Father’s Love For Us

 

Matt Maher:

Lord I Need You

 

Matt Redman:

10,000 Reasons (Bless the Lord)

Blessed Be Your Name

 

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The Student Newspaper for Montrose School
A New and Uplifting Jam