I know it’s Tuesday afternoon here in Australia, but to be honest, this probably was the only time during these last two days where I could write about Message Mondays. But in all honesty, it’s not that overdue- it’s only 11:56 pm Monday currently in California (as I write this, but now it’s early Tuesday morning when this blog is published)… so at least somewhere around the world it’s Monday… Now that we got that out of the way…
Tenth Avenue North released their new album Cathedrals, last week. It’s their most heartfelt, encouraging, and enjoyable album out of their whole music career to date, in my opinion. Mike Donehey, the lead singer, is probably one of the most powerful and prolific CCM songwriters of modern music history, aside from writers like Jason Ingram, Seth Mosley, Andrew Peterson, Steven Curtis Chapman and Nichole Nordeman. The ability that Mike has, in his songwriting and his speaking (through video journals and stories behind the songs on Tenth Avenue North’s youtube channel) is phenomenal, and this week’s message is based on a devotional Mike did for the band’s current radio single, “No Man Is An Island”.
As the song suggests, no one in the world ought to be alone. Whether it’s family, friends or God, we ought to have someone else in our lives we can commune with. We as humans are made in the image of God, and since God is a community (the Father, Son and Holy Spirit), we as being mirrors and echoes of God’s character, are also longing to be in community- with God and with others. We aren’t meant to be alone, which is one of the reasons we as Christians long to, and ought to, commune and fellowship with each other during Sunday church time. Sure, we can worship God and listen to encouraging and poignant sermons right from the comfort of your own home, and sure it may be comfortable, but we must remember- no man is an island.
We can’t travel through life without letting people in. Though it could seem scary to unveil our true selves to the people we think know us, and ought to know us, the most, the converse is something we should avoid. To stay within our bubbles may be enticing- after all- who doesn’t want to just sit at home and binge watch The Blacklist or Arrow? It’s cosy, fun, and a lot easier than fellowshipping with friends and family. Because once we unveil ourselves to others around us and try to make the human connection and step off our islands, the moment comes where we have to be real, and at times, being real and vulnerable may be the hardest thing we may need to do. To say ‘here is the real me, with all my faults’. And we wonder, would our friends, family, or even God, accept us if they only knew our hearts? It is then that I myself remember- God takes care of sparrows, as it says in the book of Matthew. So how much more will he take care of us?
It’s one of my favourite songs released in 2014. “No Man is an Island” speaks about coming off our individual islands and entering into a community, sharing our joys and triumphs, but also sharing our hurts and pain as well. It is in the fellowship of one another than we can find encouragement, hope, love, acceptance, and even the courage and motivation to live each day, not for ourselves, but for God and others. And with that, let us hear what Mike Donehey has to say about “No Man is An Island”.
Check out the devotional and the music video of the song below. Have you ever needed to come off your metaphorical island into community? What were the results? Let us know in the comments. Til next time, have a great Monday/Tuesday, and stay tuned for new blogs for the remainder of the week.