Today we had our Gospel service in church.
We've got a little band that specializes in country Gospel. Songs like: "I Saw the Light"; "I'll Fly Away"; "Old Rugged Cross" and the like.
Once a month we do an entire service with these hymns that are older than...well, at least older than most folks that I know.
It's rather interesting that most folks absolutely love the service and love the music. Across generations, from the very young to the very old, people tap their feet and sing louder than they do at a "regular" worship service.
It goes against the grain that many of the "experts" told us about church worship. I can't tell you how many times I heard or read the "experts" tell me that in order to grow a congregation, you had to have contemporary music complete with electric guitars, keyboards, amps, etc.
Yeah, right. Whatever.
I have found this advice isn't necessarily true. Folks still respond to those old Gospel tunes. They still feel uplifted and inspired. They will even clap--which in a Lutheran congregation is a very, very, very, very big deal.
I don't know why we seem quick to discard those things that had meaning in the past. Radio stations don't play the oldies. Television shows that once drew millions are relegated to TV Land. Cartoons that I grew up with are classified as "too violent." (Yeah, Tom and Jerry and the Roadrunner/Coyote inspired us to do many acts of violence growing up.) Oh, and let's not get started on the old fashioned way of human relationships. Well, let's...
Spanking. Some expert comes along and says, "It ruins your kid's self esteem. It's abusive." Next thing you know, kids are running the house and parents are not allowed to be parents. Men treated women with respect, opening doors for them and going out of their way to be helpful. Suddenly, some "expert" comes along and says, "Women and men are totally equal. Such behavior is chauvinistic." Next thing you know, you get yelled at for being nice. Ridiculous.
Now, don't get me wrong. There are some old ways that I wouldn't give you a plugged nickle for. Try to bring back discrimination, and I'll have something to say. Bring back the idea that women should only be barefoot and pregnant, and I'll have issues. Yet, there was a wisdom that our elders had and have that some of us have lost because we are chasing after everything that's new.
As I age, I am becoming more and more old fashioned. Perhaps that's not such a bad thing.