Today: Wednesday, November 13, 2019

God in entertainment #5 - You got the love    (8/15/2010 )

worshipThere's a clubbing anthem which has been recorded in over 20 versions since 1986; reached the top 10 in charts around the world; been played at numerous music festivals (including Glastonbury and Reading); and been performed Live In Ibiza on BBC Radio 1 and at the BBC Live Big Weekend.

Hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of young people have danced to this track over the past 25 years. I wonder how many realised it was a Christian song?

The song is called 'You Got the Love'. The best-known version was by The Source, featuring Candy Statton; a major house-music hit which continues to be a clubbing favourite (although Florence and the Machine charted at number 5 in the UK with their own version in 2009).

Although the lyrics of the song are clear enough, I would imagine most people think the 'love' referred to in the song is of the kind usually expressed in popular-music culture: that which occurs between two lovers. In fact, the song talks about someone who sometimes struggles with life's ups and downs, but relies on God:

"Sometimes I feel like throwing my hands up in the air
I know I can count on you.
Sometimes I feel like saying, 'Lord, I just don't care',
But you've got the love I need to see me through.;
When food is gone, you are my daily meal
When friends are gone, I know my Saviour's love is real.
...You got the love...
Time after time, I say, 'Oh Lord, what's the use?'
Time after time, I say, 'This just won't do.'
But sooner or later in life, the things you love you lose,
Just like before, I know I'll call on you.
...Occasionally, I cry out: 'Lord, what must I do?
Occasionally, I call up, 'Master, make me new...'"

I don't really want to say too much about this song because I think the lyric speaks for itself. But the words which really matter seem to be, 'I know my Saviour's love is real' and 'Master, make me new.' No matter how tough the going is, or what life throws at us, or how much we're let down by people and circumstances, God (and his love) are real. And God is continually working a process of transformation in us: he is always ready to 'make us new'.

What I love about the song, besides its focus on God and its honesty, is the fact that it's been such a massive hit for so long in mainstream culture. It's extremely well-known by millions of people. It's played long and loud where young people congregate together, close their eyes and raise their hands in the air, repeating words which attest to the love of an amazing God. That sounds a bit like worship to me... if only they knew it.

God is always speaking. Are we willing to open our ears and hear the real words, or what we think the words should be?

Pray: Lord, let me hear your voice in unexpected places – and help me not just to hear, but to listen. Amen.

Think about: Do we ever fall into the trap of thinking that God is only in certain places and among certain people – and that he would never be in a sweaty nightclub where the bass is thumping and there might be an emphasis on drink and/or drugs?

Challenge: If you know someone who is likely to have danced to this track in a club, ask them if they've ever listened to the words. Do they realise it's a piece of Gospel music? See where the conversation leads.

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