Raise your hand if you like Lorde…
I’m not saying “throw your hands up in the air” like some generic party song – I mean signify that you are a fan and a follower of the biggest thing to come out of New Zealand since The Lord of the Rings.
Lorde of the Songs maybe?
Anyway, isn’t it fantastic that for the second time she has produced a top 40 hit that really shouldn’t be a top 40 hit? What I mean is, if you do a quick critical analysis of the chart topping songs, they boil down to…
Songs about hooking up.
Songs about hooking up, and then painfully breaking up.
Songs about “I’m famous.”
Songs about all things partying – (i.e. Miley, Pitbull, Drake – you know, like throwing your hands in the air!)
And then along comes Lorde, and she shines like a star against the dark backdrop of decadent music:
“We live in cities you’ll never see onscreen,
Not very pretty, but we sure know how to run things.
Livin’ in ruins of a palace within my dreams,
And you know we’re on each other’s team.”
–From Team by Lorde
I love her social commentary and insight into the real teenage world where people struggle with acne on the outside and unfulfilled dreams on the inside. Team is a clarion call to reject the pied pipers of the mainstream media, and define yourself (and your world) in a much more meaningful way.
And in many ways, shouldn’t we play the same role in our culture as Lorde does in the music arena? She is a top 40 artist who got there by artistically criticizing the top 40 artists – gotta love the irony, right?
But too many Christ followers have opted out of the world. They refuse to engage the culture, because of its tainted and hedonistic characteristics, so they keep the beautiful music of the gospel to themselves and their bubbled safety.
Then, there are others who have become Christian copy machines. They claim a relationship with Jesus, but the core message of their lives looks more like a dark horse.
Perhaps it is time we took a lesson from Lorde’s playbook, which looks a lot like the strategy that Jesus gave His followers over 2000 years ago:
“Let me tell you why you are here. You’re here to be salt-seasoning that brings out the God-flavors of this earth. If you lose your saltiness, how will people taste godliness? You’ve lost your usefulness and will end up in the garbage.
“Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven” (Matthew 5:13-16, The Message).
Jesus commanded us to be salt in society – which means that our words and actions should bring out the good flavors in the world and keep what is valuable from spoiling so that people will be thirsty for Jesus!
We are also light, which means we illuminate the darkness that surrounds and binds those without God in their lives. We shine as railroad crossing lights to warn people of the coming freight train of His judgment, and we shine as runway lights to help people land safely in His forgiveness and acceptance.
I love that Lorde can be in the top 40 without reflecting top 40 values…and shouldn’t we do the same? Isn’t it time we take our roles as salt and light seriously and engage the culture in a counter-culture manner? We are not called to separate ourselves from society – that would be impossible, and it would bring THE Cause of Christ to a standstill. We are also not called to simply put a Christian signature on a worldly portrait – that compromises THE Cause and earns us the label of hypocrite.
Let’s look upon His greatness – and He will send us out, carrying His invitation to others to enter into a relationship with Jesus!
Flashpoint: Ignite Into Action
The call to be salt and light is one of the most exciting job descriptions on earth! Look for ways this week to bring out the “God flavors” of the world and illuminate the darkness in people’s lives. Make the music of your life so high quality that people can’t help but listen.
Accelerant: Fuel for THE Cause
Pray: Jesus, give us the wisdom and insight to be salt and light in our world. Let others see our good works, so they will give glory to the Father in heaven.
Read: 1 Peter 2:12. Live such good lives among the pagans that, though they accuse you of doing wrong, they may see your good deeds and glorify God on the day he visits us.
Get: Salt…Creating Thirst curriculum. In this new, five week youth group resource, Greg Stier and Zane Black focus in on a different conversation starting Salt video clip each week. Each Salt lesson—
- Walks students through the Biblical teaching on the topic addressed in the various YouTube Salt clips.
- Helps students apply this Biblical truth to their own personal lives.
- Provides specific follow up questions to ask friends to help take the conversation deeper.
- Coaches students on how to sensitively transition to the cross of Christ.
Discussion Guide for Leaders
Big Idea: Lorde is a great example of being mainstream, without holding to mainstream values – which is very much like our calling to be salt and light.
Key Passages: Matthew 5:13-16
- What do you think makes Lorde so popular?
- In what ways can you relate to her song Team?
- What does being salt and light look like in your world?
- How can you apply this Soul Fuel to THE Cause?