Music is so powerful. I love it. I take advantage of any time I have in my car, my office, or wherever to blast music and to be moved by it. Lately I have been listening pretty much non-stop to an album by Rachel Kurtz. Rachel is this amazing artist out of the Twin Cities and is basically a Lutheran Rock Star. She plays all around and has blessed the ELCA at youth gatherings and other gatherings all over the country. She is truly remarkable. Her music and her person. The album is entitled Broken & Lowdown and if you don’t know it- you need to. There is a song on there that I can’t seem to get enough of. The song is “We Say that God is Love.” At the heart of this song is a tender confession of brokenness and humanity. The struggle that we have this calling to be like God yet the reality that so often we fall short of it. The tension is strong. Rachel is able to sing it out beautifully in a way that is almost too raw. Too painful. But yet at the heart of that tension is this gift that God is capable of molding us and forming us and inspiring us to be more like Jesus. Even though we are flawed, God will use us and shape us.
This morning my devotion brought me to James 3:13-18. I don’t love the book of James but we will go there another time. Today, however, God seemingly yoked my musical craving this week with the Word. James is writing about a life that we as disciples of Christ are called to live. Strong words like, “Show your good life that your works are done with gentleness born of wisdom. But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not be boastful and false to the truth.” A calling to live better than I normally do. A calling to work to mold my life in the image of Christ. Pair that with the Psalm reading from Psalm 112 and I was reminded this day of the wonder of this calling- the calling to be a child of God. You see, we have this gift in Christ Jesus and with that gift comes a calling to be more like Jesus. The struggle will continue. We will continue to mess up. We will continue to care for self before other first. We will continue to be filled with anger instead of peace. Yet we pray, please God shape our life. And there is the grace…the promise that God does and God will.
Here are the lyrics…check it out people! (you can hear it on her page)We say that God is love, yet all I do is judge We say that God is mercy, I never seem to give enough We say that Jesus can heal, all I seem to do is harm I know Jesus is real, I doubt him all the time How Can I be, more like Jesus? I rarely get things right. I wanna be more like you God. So, please shape my life. We say that God is justice, yet I ne’er take up the fight we say that God’s ways are steadfast, I falter all the time I know Jesus is righteous, I wanna walk in the light I know Jesus does miracles, I wish he would do mine How can I be more like Jesus? I rarely get things right I wanna be more like you God So, please shape my life. You have chosen us, to carry out your will to love our neighbors, feed the poor, I wanna do all that and still I am weak, be my strength I afraid, be my bravery I am mute, please be my voice I am man, bring more out of me Jesus came to show us true humanity How can I be more like Jesus? I rarely get things right. I wanna be, more like you God. So, please shape my life. Please shape my life