I was super sick with the flu last week and had a good full day where I couldn’t function. I’m the type of person that tends to keep going even while sick. I’ll normally take whatever medicine is needed and just power through if I can. With this flu that was no option.
So I did what any self respecting individual would do. Whilst fading in and out of sleep, continually running to the bathroom, moaning and groaning, and battling body aches and fever, I loaded up on Pepto Bismol, Advil, Tylenol, Ginger Ale, Saltine Crackers, Water, Hot Black Tea with Honey, and Led Zeppelin documentaries.
In one of the documentaries, the song “Stairway to Heaven”, which is likely Zeppelin’s best known song, aside from the intro being a very likely rip off of Spirit’s song “Taurus”, was actually shown to be very derivative of some music that JS Bach had written.
So imagine that! The melody that swept radio waves throughout the 1970’s and still captivates people now, had roots in music from centuries before that captivated people as well.
It’s true that what has been is what will be, and what has been done is what will be done; there is nothing new under the sun. (Eccl. 1:9) In fact, we could probably trace everything that appears to be innovative and impactful now back to something that happened previous to it which influenced it. Now I’m not saying that ancient Babylon perfected the smartphone or AI. But I am saying that everything of substance that impacts our lives had its origin somewhere.
And here we are, in 2024, in America, in Ohio, in the city of Akron, and in the neighborhood of Kenmore. We’re trying to do Church the best way we know how together.
But just like Led Zeppelin needed to borrow the essence of melody from Bach, we as the Church need to get back to the source if we really want to glorify God! The New Testament contains all the substance of what we need to know to faithfully be the Church in 2024 in this context, this culture, and this time! We need to contextualize it for sure, but we’re really just looking to be faithful to the Scriptures in how we “do” Church! We basically gotta take those beautiful, original Bach melodies and put our little spin on them to make sense of them to this current generation, without losing the essence of the melody! We gotta stay faithful and orthodox in our orthodoxy while remaining flex and pliable in our orthopraxy!