This morning on worship we included a song from John Mayer’s latest project, Born and Raised. Here is how I framed it within the context of our series, “Life Under the Sun:”
For the past month we have been delving in the book of Ecclesiastes. This book is typically gathered together in the collection of writings know as Wisdom Literature and the genre is poetry. I don’t know if you have ever noticed that poets have a different way of seeing the world and poets see the world differently; it’s the gift the poet brings to humanity.
The author of Ecclesiastes was an unnamed poet – someone known only as Qoheleth, the Hebrew word for Teacher. This poet had a cynical and jaded perspective upon life (something not uncommon among the poets) and yet the words of Ecclesiastes accurately capture much of the reality of human experience. The pursuit of pleasure, possessions and power ultimately leave a person empty and lie without God is meaningless.
To be honest, I read very little poetry. I much prefer my poetry set to music and one of my favorite poet/musicians is an artist by the name of John Mayer. You might be familiar with him: a prodigious talent (guitarist, singer/songwriter), a monstrous ego, and a fairly debauched lifestyle. Over the last two weeks I have been listening to his latest project, Born and Raised and as I listen the many parallels with the book of Ecclesiastes have astounded me. This beautiful collection of songs is raw, honest and vulnerable and traces his own journey, containing hopeful signs of maturity and the recognition that his pursuit of pleasure and prestige has left him alone and empty – nothing more than vanity and chasing after the wind.
One of my favorite songs is Shadow Days. It’s a reflection on the hard times, the pain inflicted on both self and others and a sincere belief that the past is behind and better days are ahead.
Hard times let me see
Hard times let me be
A good man with a good heart
Had a tough time, got a rough start
I finally learned to let it go
Now I’m right here and right now
And I’m hoping knowing somehow
My shadow days are over
My shadow days are over now
This is Shadow Days…
Here is our complete worship flow:
- Hallelujah: Your Love Is Amazing (Brenton Brown)
- At the Cross (Daniel Renstrom)
- Reflection on 1 John 3:16-24
- This Is How We Know (Matt Redman)
- Announcements and Offering
- Shadow Days (John Mayer)
- Message (Life under the Sun 3)
- Come to the Water (Brett Younker)
You can learn what other communities of faith experienced this weekend in worship at The Worship Community.