Have you ever been unraveled by a melody?

That one lyric from Bethel is full of metaphor like a pile of leaves is full of the perfume of autumn.

To become unraveled…

It reminds me of blankets to snuggle under when you’re young. It’s cold and there’s a good movie playing. And while Luke finds out about his true parentage, a finger idly twirls through a loose thread, occasionally pulling, and lengthening the thread.

It reminds me of spools of thread. Not the store bought ones, though, but the ones you spend some time threading that store bought stuff through a machine so that it ends up on a bobbin. Then at the right moment, when you take the bobbin to put it in place, you lose your grip on the curved smooth plastic, but keep the end of the thread. It dances, spins, twirls downward in a ballet of frustration while all of that hard work is undone by gravity and bad luck.

It reminds me of a semi truck blowing out a tire on the freeway. You see a few large black rocks spit out from behind the truck. Smoke spills out around the offending tire while more and more bits of rubber eject all over in a shower of anxiety for the already nervous driver. The chunks enlarge. They report noisily off of the frame of the truck until with a clatter and the ozone rich smell of metal heating, the rest of the remains of the tire eject. Call 911, and then keep on going about your business. Stop at exit 5 for some good coffee and more gas.

The Westminister Confession of Faith, a concise collection of theological statements that Christians wholeheartedly embrace and hotly debate, depending on the statement has a very simple statement about our purpose.

The chief end of man…

That phrase almost has a smell to it. Like musty leather bound books. “The chief end of man” probably has its own seat in a cigar lounge where it sits between “inalienable rights” and “I think Aristotle said…”

In post-modern clothes, with skinny jeans and a fanny pack, it’s “what the heck we’re here because of/for/to/with/why”

For so vaunted and important a question, it’s really quite a short answer.

To glorify God and enjoy Him forever. [1]

That’s easy, right?

So why in the world can we not settle ourselves down when it comes to worship music? Why do we get so wrapped around the axle? People go bananas when they see the wrong setup when they walk into a church. Don’t like contemporary music, I know how you’re going to react when you see drums. Only like contemporary music, I know how you’re going to react when you see choir robes. We have professionals who command enormous budgets just to direct the music for large church programs. I’m spending my hard earned G.I. Bill to learn more about how to lead musical worship more proficiently. People stay and leave over the quality of music. It is comedy gold. It is the subject of tomes of books.

And sometimes we forget to let God unravel us with the music. He is the one who teaches us to worship. He is the original creator of all things, including the scales we use (and occasionally abuse, in the case of G, C, D, and Em). He is the one who currently enjoys the perfected Hallelujah of eternity.

So as we seek our chief end, it shouldn’t disturb us as we find He is pulling at a string in our lives that slowly reveals more and more and more of something that needs to be ultimately pulled from our bodies. It shouldn’t frustrate us to finality that an unrighteousness tool we sought to use has been unspooled and made useless. It shouldn’t worry us that the worn out parts of our lives suffer catastrophic, spectacular failure, just to give us a short break before being made new.

He is teaching us a new song.

You unravel me with a melody. You surround me with a song of deliverance from my enemies, till all my fear is gone. I’m no longer a slave to fear. I am a child of God. [2]

Sometimes, it is a simple truth that pulls at old tatters and old tools and old wheels in our lives to see us made new. To see us made free.

My friend once preached that we have too much music singing about chains and freedom and not enough singing about the process and the price of freedom from those chains. The more I have tried to argue with his position, the more I have found myself cemented in the same ground as him. My freedom began with an unspooling of my life from a yoke I needed to see fallen to the ground as I watched helplessly while it all unraveled before me. But that wasn’t my freedom.

It was just a melody that unraveled me.

The song that God sang into my life and invited me to sing back is one whose complexities I cannot unpack. Its refrains are perfectly unbalanced. Its harmonies shake the ground upon our lives’ foundation. The song God sings, love, is so simple and free. It makes you free chorus by chorus, verse by verse. You must be taught its music. You are invited to sing along.

A room fills with men and women. The lights are bright enough to find your seats, but dim enough to hide the tech and your spilled coffee stains on your right thigh. Music fills the room. It’s not what you’ll sing, but it’s pretty. The countdown ends and the lights in the room fade. The guitars spring to life, the organ bellows its glory, the orchestra explodes into ecstasy and then we, heartbeat by heartbeat begin to sing love.

To glorify God.

This is not the only place you will do this. Romans says we will do this everywhere with every beat of our hearts. We will be living sacrifices, not Sunday sacrifices.

But let’s really do this here.

Give your heart to the truths and feel the pleasure of deepest love. Sink your mind into the logical riches of God and enjoy deepest truth. Embrace the unity of yourself with billions worldwide and know the apex of the human experience.

Enjoy Him now. And for a long time to follow.





[1] John Macpherson, “The Westminister Confession of Faith,” Edinburgh: T&T Clark

[2] Jonathan David Helser and Melissa Helser, “No Longer Slaves” Bethel Music Publishing, 2014. CCLI#7030123

Categories: WorshipTags: , , , , ,

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