My wife and I have been watching the PBS film by Ken Burns: Country Music. It’s a documentary of the origins and history of that music genre. Much of it covers the early time of country music that I just love. At the onset A.P. Carter of the Carter Family would go through the hills of Kentucky and Tennessee collecting the family songs passed down from one generation to the next. Those simple songs seemed to pour out of the hill country. The same is true of the Spirituals that rolled out of the cotton fields of the south and the Mississippi Delta. When I was in college, (long ago) I wrote a couple of research papers on the Grand Ole Opry. One of which was entitled, Why Do They Return? What I found was exactly what Ken Burns talks about over and over in his film: The music speaks to everyday, hardworking, down-to-earth, real people. Why? Because those simple songs came from the heart of poor, impoverished, sometimes illiterate, down-home, down-to-earth, hardworking people. Those are the people I love, and in Jesus’ time here on earth, those are the people he hung out with the most. There is no “putting on airs,” or pretending to be something we’re not. These folks (including me) are, “We are who we are,” “What you see is what you get,” “We don’t dress to impress” kind of people. We want to be accepted just as we are and here at Faith, and we are doing our darndest to let you know we will take you “just as you are.” When we sing and worship on Saturday nights and Sunday mornings, I can genuinely imagine, A.P., Sara, and Mother Mabel Carter singing up there with us. I can see the old car outside, loaded with “stuff,” ready to head down to the next church for an all-night singin’.
Psalm 5:11 New International Version (NIV) 11 But let all who take refuge in you be glad; let them ever sing for joy. Spread your protection over them, that those who love your name may rejoice in you.