Thursday, October 13, 2011

You Give and Take Away

Here's a full confession - I am not a huge fan of all the worship music that has ever been written. Here's an even fuller confession, I am not a huge fan of all hymnody (church hymns) that have ever been written either. However, there is one worship song who's theology and lyrics are some of the most profound theology I have ever encountered. There is one worship song who's Biblical groundedness is rock solid and who's consistent theology and solid church doctrine is bedrock and sound. The song I am referring to is the worship tune by Matt Redman called; "Blessed be The Name of the Lord."

And my favorite lyric in this song is;

You Give and Take Away
You Give and Take Away
My Heart Will Choose To Say
Blessed Be the Name of the Lord

I would put the theology of that line of music up against any Wesleyan hymn of the mid 1800
's or Lutheran theological tome of the 1500's - or any stuff that has ever been written.

Last week, Charlie Rose interviewed Gary Player, former international golf phenomenon and sports superstar of the 1970's and 1980's. Gary Player, who was not the tallest player in the game, or the strongest by any stretch of the imagination, was asked by Charlie Rose whether he was the best player in the history of the game; "No, No," said Player, "Not by a long shot. Many other players were much better than I was." And then, Gary made the most remarkable personal revelation; "I believe that my gift for golf was given to me. IT WAS LOANED TO ME FROM THE GOOD LORD. It's the only explanation for my winning that many games. The truth is I am not that good. It was loaned to me, and it can be taken away, just as quickly."

You Give and Take Away!

The theology of "Give and Take Away" occurs throughout the Bible. God seemed to give Moses and the Israelites a vision of their possession of the Promised Land. And then He seemed to take it away when they protested and murmered too much. God gave Job many riches, a happy family, a peaceful and prosperous life, and God, by some strange arrangement with one of the Evil One's minions, in the flash of an instant, took it all away. God seemed to give King David all favor and blessing when he was a humble servant of Saul's and a timbrel singer in the king's court. And then, God took it away when he fell from grace later in his career. God gave Jesus life on earth, fully human, fully God. And, if we are to understand theology correctly, Jesus gave his life away for the redemption of humanity, freely given, freely taken away.

You Give and Take Away!

The theology of God's power to "Give and Take Away" is not the stuff of children. It is much easier to think about our lives as a dualistic struggle between good and evil. Even easier is the myth of the secular world that, "stuff just happens." But Christ followers who have deep down, real life theology, and belief, know that in a fundamental sense, we don't control all the events of our lives. Neither does chance control our fate entirely. What we really believe is that our God is a God who, at least some of the time...

Gives and Takes Away,

All For Now,

1 comment:

  1. Thankyou for this reflection on this idea, and this song. I never really considered the lyrics properly, and there is such a despair and hope and call for perseverance in this song. Despite losing what you have, remember it was just a loan, and continue blessing the name of the Lord. An amazing reminder.