Here’s a new song off of John Mark McMillan’s latest album Economy. We first heard this song at Vinyl, a small bar in Atlanta… although some guy in the audience turned the chorus into the song that never ends at the set’s close… That over-zealous fan almost ruined this song for me, to be honest. But it’s a great one for reflection this week, in keeping with last year. Check out his own blog (here) for a friend’s theological unpacking of the song’s lyrics.
I love what John says: “At the end of the day, I’m a songwriter who dabbles in theology. I don’t sing about Jesus because I want to spread a message. I don’t sing about Jesus because it’s the Christian thing to do. If I sing about Jesus, it’s for one simple reason, and that’s because I believe he’s worth singing about. While it’s never been my intention to communicate theology through my music, my heart’s fascination with certain subjects have carved out a good bit of space for it in my songs over the years.”
When you really think about it – the gospel story of Jesus is the most unthinkable reality. It flies in the face of both philosophy and religion. It is beyond reason and silences all efforts of man to reach an unreachable God. The gospel reveals the all-powerful Creator, becoming human, living among and dying at the hands of His creation, in order to make possible a relationship between a rebellious creature – humanity – and a perfectly holy and just Creator – God. And it didn’t stop there. This God-in-the-flesh, Jesus of Nazareth, was raised from the dead. Not even His own disciples could believe this at first (see Mark 16:9-14 and John 20:24-29) – it was all just too much to grasp. Paul put the foolishness of the gospel this way:
Where is the one who is wise? Where is the scribe? Where is the debater of this age? Has not God made foolish the wisdom of the world? For since, in the wisdom of God, the world did not know God through wisdom, it pleased God through the folly of what we preach to save those who believe. For Jews demand signs and Greeks seek wisdom, but we preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God. For the foolishness of God is wiser than men, and the weakness of God is stronger than men.
For consider your calling, brothers: not many of you were wise according to worldly standards, not many were powerful, not many were of noble birth. But God chose what is foolish in the world to shame the wise; God chose what is weak in the world to shame the strong; God chose what is low and despised in the world, even things that are not, to bring to nothing things that are, so that no human being might boast in the presence of God. And because of him you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God, righteousness and sanctification and redemption, so that, as it is written, “Let the one who boasts, boast in the Lord.”
(1 Corinthians 1:20-31 ESV)
We’re all fools. None of us have it all figured out – not even the beautiful mystery of the cross. We can’t wrap our finite minds around an infinite God. This week, as we remember the final days of Jesus’ walking this planet that He created (See John 1:1-3 and Colossians 1:16). Be in awe. Be overwhelmed. Allow the foolishness of the cross and this gospel to overwhelm you. Let it drop you to your knees where the only response is worship of the Holy One.