Have you noticed how many kids, particularly younger kids love to play dress up? Maybe it is with costumes of different characters or professions or it might simply be putting on mom or dad’s clothes! Well I have to confess that I have never outgrown that love for ‘dress up’. Or rather, for theme parties that invite dressing to the theme. As an adult, I continue to host theme parties of various types, either from different decades or themes like mexican, western, hawaiian. One theme party I have not done but would love to one day is one that I think is unique and would be a lot of fun. That is a ‘soundtrack’ party. A friend of mine came up with the idea and essentially you invite guests to create a soundtrack of 5 – 10 songs that might define their lives and bring it to the party to share with others. While there is not a particular ‘dress up’ or decorating requirement I think it would be so much fun to discover the songs my friends would choose to put on their soundtrack. Are there any particular songs that come to your mind that you would choose? Music is powerful isn’t it? It has the power to shape us–our emotions, our memories, specific time periods in our lives. Is there a song that, whenever it comes on the radio or you hear it, takes you immediately back to a particular time or experience?
This year, our theme at CBOQ is the Beatitudes. A passage many of us are likely very familiar with that we read at the beginning of the Sermon on the Mount in Matthew 5. Each month our emails and social media will highlight stories based around one beatitude. CBOQ Kids is also following that theme in providing ideas for teaching children about each beatitude and various other resources to equip families with conversation starters and more around the monthly beatitude theme. In preparation of pulling together resources and ideas, I spent a lot of time this summer reading, reflecting upon and studying the Sermon on the Mount and in particular the Beatitudes. As I reflected, it struck me that the Beatitudes seem like the ‘song’ of the Sermon on the Mount and I began to reflect on the passage ‘musically’.
Do you remember that song that came out in the late 1980’s called “Don’t Worry Be Happy“? It is a catchy little tune that immediately popped up in my mind as I was reading the Beatitudes. I think we might agree that we desire happiness. I believe that God has placed that desire within humanity. However, I think there is a difference between what we might initially define as the ‘object’ of that desire and what God has actually placed within us. I believe that God has placed that desire within us to draw people to the One who can actually fullfill it. True happiness is not found in wealth, or well being, fame, power or achievements, not that there is anything wrong about that, but in God alone. And this passage is all about what true happiness in life is. We read this series of “Blessed are…” statements. Another word for blessed, and the word we read in some translations is ‘happy’. But the happiness here transcends what happens in the world around us. This is about a deep, soul happiness. These blessings describe an inner sense of joy.
As we move through this year, each month you will have the opportunity to read some of my ‘musical’ reflections on the Beatitudes as well as consider some ideas, conversations starters and opportunities to teach children about the Beatitudes. Anyone who appreciates music or is a musician recognizes that music is marked by form, structure, rhythm and shape. Playing music is a discipline. I think this kind of points to the kind of life we are invited to live as disciples of Jesus.
Music shapes us. Orienting our lives around the rhythm of the Beatitudes can change the lyrics of our lives. Will you join me this year in discovering the soundtrack of your life and inviting those entrusted to your leadership to embark on a journey of discovering their soundtrack?
September’s theme is “Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Find more thoughts and ideas here.