Hymns and CCM
A Question of Accessibility

John Mayer and Advent

During the season of Advent waiting is a central theme. The community of Jesus’ time was waiting for the promised messiah to come. They were waiting for someone to deliver them from an oppressive political structure. There was unnecessary violence, moral religious laws trumping acts of love and justice and a veiled connection between the politically powerful and the religiously powerful. We know that Jesus was crucified by both the religious majority of his time in cahoots with the political ruler Pontius Pilot. We see politics and religion today being used in ways that go against God’s plan for us and creation. John Mayer in his song “Waiting On the World To Change” expresses frustration about the current situation and hope for something better. He begins by saying:

 


me and all my friends
we're all misunderstood
they say we stand for nothing and
there's no way we ever could
now we see everything that's going wrong
with the world and those who lead it
we just feel like we don't have the means
to rise above and beat it

so we keep waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

In this season of Advent, this season of waiting, what does this song say about us? John claims that he is not alone in being misunderstood and “waiting for the world to change”. What kind of waiting do people of faith do? What did our ancestors do while waiting for the messiah? Is there such a thing as active waiting? How does “Prepare Ye the Way of the Lord” resonate with John Mayer’s description of how he and all his friends are waiting? John goes on to say in the last verse of his song:

 


and we're still waiting
waiting on the world to change
we keep on waiting waiting on the world to change
one day our generation
is gonna rule the population
so we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change

we keep on waiting
waiting on the world to change


 

This quote is very interesting: “our generation is gonna rule the population”? What kind of power do people of God have to bring about change in the world today? How does prayer fit into the picture? Is God involved at all in changing the world or do we put our trust in rulers? Do we put our trust in ourselves (“one day our generation is gonna rule the population”)? In response to this popular song what will we proclaim about how the people of God are waiting?  O Come, O Come Emmanuel. 

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