Truths & Film

Appreciating Worship with Yesterday

Who moves you more? The Beatles or the Lord?

There’s a moment towards the beginning of Danny Boyle’s new film Yesterday where the main character, Jack, after unknowingly having woken up in a world that never experienced The Beatles, sings the band’s song “Yesterday.”

As the scene goes on you see the reactions of his friends: their eyes well up and they look at each other incredulously. When the song is finally over they all sit in silence for a moment before one of them finally manages to sputter out, “Oh my… when did you write that?”

You can see a snippet of the scene below at the 0:32 – 0:55 time stamp:

What that scene, and the movie as a whole, so perfectly captures is the pure emotional response that music can elicit out of us. Music can make us feel the highest highs and the lowest lows. It can remind us of stuff we wish we could remember more fully, or make us recall things we wish we could fully forget.

Whether it be a song by The Beatles, The Lumineers, Queen, Beethoven, Ella Fitzgerald, or even Jacob Sartorius, I am sure that there is some piece of music out there that moves you and makes you feel from the deepest reaches of your heart.

But how often do we let worship music have that same effect?

I know for myself that it is far too easy, especially in church, to let any and all worship songs essentially pass into one ear and out the other without ever letting the sounds ever hit my soul; I find myself singing along but simply going through the motions. But I also know that almost every time I listen to the song “39” by Queen I have to stop myself from being emotional.

Why is that?

I have a guess that it is because I simply take the Lord for granted all too often, so music that worships Him ceases to have its intended effect. Having an all powerful and ever-present God should render us all utterly in awe every second of every day, but sometimes I think I simply consider it all a happy convenience rather than the mind-blowing reality that it is. Just check out this passage:

Sing to the Lord, all the earth!
Tell of his salvation from day to day.
Declare his glory among the nations,
his marvelous works among all the peoples!
For great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised,
and he is to be feared above all gods.
For all the gods of the peoples are worthless idols,
but the Lord made the heavens.
Splendor and majesty are before him;
strength and joy are in his place.

1 Chronicles 16:23-27

That is how I should always approach worship and that is how we all should always approach worship.

The truth of the matter is that worshipping the Lord with our voices and worshipping the Lord through our hearts when we listen to praise music should be the ultimate form of musical joy that any of us as Christians ever experience. But due to… something… we tend to overlook that.

I can’t always put my finger on it. Sometimes I am but other times I am not. Regardless, whatever it may be, examine yourself and find out the root of why you may not enjoy worship music as much as you should. If you–I mean me–can be moved deeply by music from The Beatles (a band that I am admittedly not the biggest fan of), then why can’t a similar emotional movement happen every time we hear a worship song?

Anyways, speaking of Yesterday… That was when I was supposed to write this post. So that’s why it’s late.

And go see Yesterday, it’s such a fun movie with so much heart.


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