Though I’m not a fan of what I’d call “Christian Contemporary Music” for the most part (as I’ve mentioned before), there’s some good stuff out there. Particularly good is Koiné, a band in the WELS that takes classic hymns and performs updated versions of them.
Their newest album, Emmanuel Lux has been the soundtrack of our house the past week or so. I think Koiné really stepped it up a notch with this one. The whole album works together, rather than just being a collection of songs.
You can check out this album from Koiné’s site here. Unlike their other albums, this one’s not available yet on Spotify. Besides the band’s site, you can also find it on iTunes.
Oh, if you’re ever in the mood for some really different Christmas music, you could always check out Sufjan Stevens’s two Christmas box sets, “Songs for Christmas” and “Silver and Gold.” These aren’t for everyone, but the music ranges from reverent folk takes on traditional Christmas songs to bizarre, electric originals like “Christmas Unicorn.”
Again, he’s not for everyone, but worth checking out if you don’t want the same old Christmas music. His stuff is available on Spotify or you can stream most of it from his site, too.
I don’t listen to much Christian music. That’s not to say I don’t like Christian music; I like the hymns we sing at my church. I love all sorts of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs, like Colossians 3:16 mentions. I just don’t listen to much of the “contemporary Christian music” that’s around. It’s just not my thing. I think that’s because my “cheeziness detector” is set to extra-sensitive. And a lot of those songs just hit me as cheezy. (I’m not sure how to define cheezy; but I think I know it when I see it!)
So, I usually listen to popular music while I’m getting work done. It helps me concentrate on what I’m doing. Every once in a while, though, a specific song will stick out to me and really make me concentrate on its lyrics.
One of those songs lately was “City With No Children” by the rock band Arcade Fire. I guess the song probably jumped out at me because I’m preaching on the sermon on the mount, and the sermon on the mount is mentioned in the song. Here’s the section in question:
You never trust a millionaire quoting the sermon on the mount
I used to think I was not like them but I’m beginning to have my doubts
My doubts about it
When you’re hiding underground
The rain can’t get you wet
But do you think your righteousness could pay the interest on your debt?
I have my doubts about it
The part that really gets me, if you can’t guess, is the last two lines. Do you think your righteousness could pay the interest on your debt? Of course it couldn’t. Our own righteousness can contribute nothing toward our debt of sin. On our own all we could hope to pay is the punishment of death and hell forever. But Jesus paid our full debt. In his life, death, and resurrection, he has given us the complete payment for our sins and won us eternal life!
I have no idea if this has anything to do with what Arcade Fire was saying in this song. But it’s interesting to think about. I’m posting a video below of what is really just the audio of this song, in case you’re interested in hearing it.