Tuesday, November 17, 2015

“God’s Call in Music” by Peter Hawisher-Faul

Then Jesus called the twelve together and gave them power and authority over all demons and to cure diseases,  and he sent them out to proclaim the kingdom of God and to heal. He said to them, “Take nothing for your journey, no staff, nor bag, nor bread, nor money—not even an extra tunic. Whatever house you enter, stay there, and leave from there. Wherever they do not welcome you, as you are leaving that town shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” They departed and went through the villages, bringing the good news and curing diseases everywhere.
Luke 9:1-6

Last week at the CA we had the pleasure of hosting Adam and Andrea, a young married couple who travel around performing in a folk duo as “Adam and I.” Andrea and Adam shared with us their music as well as some of their story. Their story helped me to see how God’s call can reorient our goals.

They started writing music in Nashville, a city filled with inspired artists trying to find a way to turn their art into success. Adam and Andrea told us about a time when they had to decide for themselves not to chase after what brought success to others, but they instead decided to pave their own path to success on their own terms. For them, this means that they are willing to play music only in exchange for food and lodging if that’s what it takes to share their music with others.

Their identity as artists is shaped by their faith. They chose not to prioritize worldly success because their success in the eyes of God is more important to them. They choose to center their lyrics on hope and love because of their experience of Jesus’s love. While they may not be living as pastors preaching on the Bible, I think their lives serve as an example of ministry.

Most Christians may only go to church one day a week, but their faith can impact their whole lives. This might just mean sharing a love of neighbors through kindness towards coworkers. It could mean using personal gifts and resources to provide for those who are needy or to encourage a more just society. Sometimes we talk about this as “answering God’s call.” The intersection of faith and personal work can be what separates a career from vocation. For Andrea and Adam, they understand their vocation to be traveling and sharing their music while starting a family together.

As society changes, Christians must always stop and think about how their faith changes the way they go about their personal work. It could be, as it was with Adam and Andrea, that understanding our work as vocation can create a dramatically different vision than what is usually understood as “success.” For students at the CA and for all who experience God’s call on our lives, we have to think about how following Christ changes how we go about our lives.