Monday, November 21, 2011

Four Minutes After the Hour...This is God

The other day I was listening to the one classical station we have on the Central Coast (actually a pretty good one), and I was amazed to encounter something I have never heard before - an overzealous classical disk jockey - a Shock Jock Classical DJ. Now, I have heard many, many overzealous shock jock rock and roll DJ's in my life. Pushy DJs on rock radio stations are as common as blow up santas in the garden department of Walmart, or musical appearances by Taylor Swift at the American Music Awards. Rock DJs who spit out their words like bullets from a Saturday Night Special handgun are the norm not the exception. However, I have never heard an "in your face" classical DJ before.

The introduction to the classical song went something like this. "Four minutes after the hour, this is classical station, KSLO, and I am your host, Julia Flintoff (it wasn't Julia Flintoff, but it could have been). For the next hour we will be listening to the music of Max Bruch." Wow, I thought to myself, I love Max Bruch. I couldn't wait! "Here is music from his second symphony played in B minor by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra." (Play music). Then, literally 30 seconds later the classical DJ broke in; "Max Bruch grew up in a small village in the Black Forest of Germany, he was the child of gypsies and Moravian monks. Here is a little bit more of his music." (Play music. Sublime sounds). And then 30 seconds later, the DJ broke in again; "Max's mother was a Hungarian immigrant who never learned to read..." you get the picture. This regular interruption from the DJ would have been mildly amusing if I had not really wanted to hear Max Bruch, and not the commentator talking about Max Bruch. After about 10 minutes of listening to the commentator talk about Max Bruch, rather than listening to Max Bruch, I simply turned the channel to another Shock Jock DJ, on another bandwidth, on another radio station.

So, here's what I have been thinking about this week.

A lot of people come to church each week and they want to HEAR GOD. These people have had tiresome, belabored weeks - filled with work stress, marital struggles, family crises and financial woes. At the end of such weeks, all they want to do is to HEAR GOD. Unfortunately, what sometimes happens is they hear about God. Often, it is the case that well meaning but over bearing pastors, lusty choir directors, ambitious stewardship chairmen, impassioned missions team coordinators tell people about God, when all they want to do is to HEAR GOD. Like an overzealous DJ, each opportunity for a real life God connection gets interrupted by an explanation of God, and then, like I did they turn the channel to some other radio station with some other series interruptions.

So, here is what I am working on in my ministry. I am going to help my listeners HEAR GOD, and not about God. I am trying to remind myself this next week, when I lead church, to simply sit back in the studio (sanctuary, worship space) and let God speak. On Sunday, I will quietly introduce God and then go sit down; "This will be God for the next hour speaking to you," (play music).

All For Now,

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