Christ in Antique Polyvinyl Chloride
It is essential to acknowledge the past and the present, and hold on to the lesions or the beauties that flow from them. The recent Truth and Reconciliation event, as well as the purchase of the Glen Valley lands have gotten us at the Mars’ Hill contemplating the need to hold on to the past to better the future. Men and women of this country have committed grievous sins against the earth and each other—we must hold these events close, and grow from them. Certain relics of the past impact each of us in unique ways. For some, it may be a collection of odd trinkets, or the writings of long dead scholars; for others it is, perhaps, the stories of their family or the woes of history. Personally, I love almost anything classified as old. I hear the word ‘vintage’ and I am sold! I also love music, and if you convert these two passions to plastic (polyvinyl chloride, to be exact), melt them down, and stamp them into black disks I am in heaven. Yes, I love old vinyl LP’s.
The experience of listening to an old vinyl LP (short for ‘Long Play’) is like no other music listening experience. It is a physical and intimate thing. There is no option to listen to a single song off an LP; you are forced to work from side A to side B. Records are fastidiously and consciously crafted sculptures designed to be listened to from start to finish, by an active listener. You have to pull this massive disk out of a package, put it on a turn table, carefully place a needle in a grove, flip it halfway through, and repeat the entire process—you are required to get up close and personal with a record to hear it.
The concept of vinyl is outlandish in our culture of top 40 singles and Ipods. To me, it seems rare to find someone who actually listens to music by the album. I feel that the experience of sitting down and listening to a record is not unlike that of our Christian walk. Much like playing a record, our walk with Christ is a physically consuming and intimate journey. We are called to accept Jesus into our hearts, and commit all to him. Proverbs 3:5-6 states “trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.” In this way, we must be active in our walk with God, constantly committing all to him, “[praying] without ceasing” (1 Thessalonians 5:17).
Listening to a record takes time and attention, and does not allow for the carless disregarding of eleven out of twelve songs. To follow the Lord is to follow the plan that is laid out for us, the track list of our lives. The Christian walk takes time, energy, and the realization that we can’t skip the tracks—the tough moments in our lives— that we don’t like.
A skillfully constructed album listened to from start to finish is a beautiful experience, impossible to enjoy through a single song. Our lives also, are a beautiful journey that will never be realized through the picking and choosing of experience.
NightShift ministries is an organization in Surrey that was established to serve the people in the downtown Surrey area. A Trinity Western team, lead by Colleen Little, serves with this organization, which works primarily with the homeless and low income. The team passes out hot chocolate, chocolate bars, and an ear to listen to all who need it. Each Monday, a team goes out with the express desire to give love and kindness to whomever they meet on the walk, and show Christ’s love through service.
Pray for safety, the team’s conversations, and simply that when people see the group they see the light of Christ. Pray that God's love would penetrate all the surface things that people use to cope, like drugs and alcohol, and find their broken hearts.
Please join me in praying for Colleen and the Nightshift team.