I promised to review the Super Bowl Ads today. Some of them were funny and clever. The cheetah chasing the guy who let him out of the cage to race the car (here is the problem for me...was it an Audi? a Fiat? Was that a half-second shot of Ryan Gosling driving the car?) was kind of funny. The theme this year seemed to be celebrities in the ads. Elton John, Clint Eastwood, Matthew Broderick, and so on. I probably napped through some other ones. My favorite ad, though, was the one in which the family dog does away with the family cat and then bribes the father to pretend he "didn't see nuthin" with packages of Nacho Cheese Doritos. I am not proud of the fact that this was my favorite. Just tellin' it like it is.
Now I'm gonna tell something else like it is. I have a problem singing in church these days.
I'm an alto, I can carry a tune, I can sort of harmonize when the melody gets out of my range. But I'm having a hard time with the words. (Why don't we call them lyrics in hymns?)
Our hymnal is about as hip as a hymnal can get, but still...there is that image of a Being outside of the Earth watching over us that I don't believe in anymore, and I know the majority of folks at my church don't believe in anymore, and yet we sing things like "His eye is on the sparrow and I know He watches me."
I don't think He does. I don't think He is a He. I don't think He is a She either. Or even an It. More like an Energy. Do Energies watch over us? The metaphors in many of our hymns don't energize me these days.
What does energize me are carefully thought out words, shared in conversation, reflection, writings.
Music is powerful. I love singing old hymns in which I don't subscribe to the lyrics, as long as it's clearly a "sing your favorite old hymn from childhood" experience. I love listening to gospel on the radio. I find dancing energizing in a spiritual sense.
I think I will start sitting some of the hymns out.