Christian Music – Rich Mullins

I’ve recently rediscovered my CD collection. Perhaps you’re the same? You spend months not really listening to music and then you reawaken the delight of going through your music and playing stuff you’d long forgotten.

My recent joy has beenthe late Rich Mullins, and in particular his Jesus album and the tribute album “Awesome God”.

Rich is so great to listen to because not only is the music good but the lyrics are sensational. Mullins is one of those Christians who gets it, they understand the true nature of God and they are also able to articulate the emotional spectrum of what it means to follow Christ.

So, in Awesome God Mullins writes:

Judgement and wrath He poured out on Sodom
Mercy and grace He gave us at the cross
I hope that we have not
Too quickly forgotten that
Our God is an awesome God

It’s masterful. We hear lots of “God is gracious – just look at the cross”, but where else have you seen that same Cross put alongside the destruction of Sodom and both presented as examples of how awesome God is?

Or, how about this for more great theology? From “Sometimes by Step”:

Sometimes I think of Abraham
How one star he saw had been lit for me

So, as Abraham looks up at the sky with the LORD in Genesis 15 and God says,

Gaze into the sky and count the stars if you are able to count them!” Then he said to him, “So will your descendants be.”

Mullins rightly notes that one of those stars was him and, accordingly, one those stars is any one of you who trusts in Jesus Christ. How good is that?

What also endears Mulllins to me is how he has entered into the emotional life of the Christian, that he searches the depths of feeling and heights of exhilaration that the Christian often feels. So, in “Elijah”:

But when I leave I want to go out like Elijah
With a whirlwind to fuel my chariot of fire
And when I look back on the stars
It’ll be like a candlelight in Central Park
And it won’t break my heart to say goodbye

It is, of course, a flight of fancy (if you’ll pardon the pun) but it’s real, isn’t it? You know it’s never going to happen but how good would it be to go out in style like Elijah? And, of course, how wonderful it would be to say goodbye so easily to the dazzling lights of this world because our yearning for our destination was so much stronger. I get the sense that when Rich was called home early by our Lord, he didn’t even look back.

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