"Sing unto the Lord a new song, for the Lord has done marvelous things." - Psalm 98:1 (NIV)
Last month, a jury found pop musicians Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke guilty of copyright infringement because their song, "Blurred Lines," bears too much of a resemblance to the classic Marvin Gaye hit, "Got To Give It Up." Williams and Thicke have been ordered to pay $7.3 million to the estate of Marvin Gaye.
Though the ruling will likely be appealed, it does lift up the significance of what it really means to be authentically creative in the music industry.
As people of faith, we often look to the classic hymns and anthems of the Church to inform and enhance our worship celebrations. There is a certain “blessed assurance” that embraces us when we sing the songs bequeathed to us by our fore-parents and fore-runners of the faith.
But according to the Palmist, every generation is afforded a fresh look at the wondrous acts and amazing grace of Almighty God. Thus, every generation is called to not only echo the praises of the past, but to creatively contribute their own expressions of gratitude for God's new and ever unfolding mercies.
Pundits are predicting that in the next 50 years, how we do church will be much different from how we've done church in the past 50 years. Some call it post-modernity. Some call it the ascendency of the Millennials and the Gen X's.
Whatever we choose to call it, we can expect to hear some new songs. Praise God!
God, give us the creativity and the courage to make our unique contributions to the continuing story of your love for humanity. Amen
Kenneth L. Samuel is Pastor of Victory for the World Church, Stone Mountain, Georgia.