You Can't Stop The Music
Grace and peace to you from our
risen Lord and Savior, Jesus the Christ
The first grade Sunday School teacher explained to her class
that the poinsettia is the flower symbol for Christmas. She then
asked, "Who can tell me the plant symbol for Easter?" One little
boy's hand shot up. "That's easy," he said. "It's the eggplant."
And one of my favorite Easter bulletin bloopers is the
following: "This being Easter Sunday, Mrs. Jones will come forward
and lay an egg on the altar."
One of my favorite music albums, and I have LOTS of favorites,
is by the Village People, a group that is amazingly still popular
even though their hits go back to the 1970's. On that album is the
song, "Can't Stop the Music." I chose that to be the title of my
sermon for today: YOU CAN'T STOP THE MUSIC.
In a moment I'm going to read you some of the lyrics, but first
I want to set you up to hear them in a certain way. You can do it
with lots of lyrics. I find the music lyrics I like the best turn
out to be ones that have a deeper message hidden in the popular
I really like the title in and of itself: Can't Stop the Music.
There's a deeper kind of music that plays within us-deeper chords,
resounding chords. There's a music that makes our souls sing.
Another song, which we use as a hymn but was a song to start, "How
Great Thou Art." The start of the refrain is, "Then sings my
soul…." And my soul sings indeed when I sing that refrain. My
mother absolutely loved that song. She'd play it on the piano, and
even though she wasn't an accomplished pianist, she seemed to draw
from some other sphere when she played that. At the senior village
where she lived for 13 years she would have her front door open to
the screen door and she'd play the piano. Residents asked her to
do that so they could enjoy the music. She always played old
favorites of pop music and old favorites of hymns.
She always ended with "How Great Thou Art." And believe me; she
would get carried away-louder and louder. But did anyone complain?
No way! If it was a nice day they'd sit out on their porch or
patio to listen or one of the benches on the walkways. And
invariably they'd all get caught up in singing. And on singing
"How Great Thou Art," as she got louder and louder, so did they!
Some folks used to stand by her door and listen. They liked all
the old popular favorites, but they especially loved the hymns. It
just made their souls sing. Please sing the refrain with me…."Then
sings my soul, my Savior God to thee; How Great Thou Art, How
Great Thou Art…"
Today, Easter Sunday, as we celebrate Christ's victory over
death, breaking the bonds of death forever-the resurrection of our
Lord (which, by the way, we actually do EVERY week when we
gather-it's why believers started gathering together on this day
of the week, to celebrate over and over the resurrection of our
Lord). Easter hymns are GLORIOUS hymns. I love singing them any
time of the year. And during the Sundays of Easter, between now
and Pentecost Sunday, we will sing as many Easter hymns as
possible, and as many of MY favorites as possible.
You can't stop the music of Easter. Jesus the Christ is risen
and you can't put him back in his tomb. He's out! He's free! He's
alive! You can't stop the music! For all those who don't believe
he is risen, or who have some doubts or just don't know what to
think, it's the same. Whether they believe it or not, he is risen,
out of the tomb, free, alive! And because he lives, we shall live
also! Feed and forgiven!
The music of Easter shows up everywhere. Certainly in the heart
and in the mind. But everywhere you turn it's the music of Easter.
And even in popular music that isn't specifically speaking about
the risen Christ. Listen to these words from "Can't Stop the
Music," and think about the music as being the risen Christ;
Christ alive and free and moving in the world, moving within each
one of us.
"Everyone you meet, the children in the street are swaying to
the rhythm, there's something moving in them. There's no place
to hide, so why even try. Can't you hear it coming your way;
it's here to stay. Music in our walk, music when we talk…Can't
you feel the sound, moving through the ground, music makes the
world go 'round."
Incredible, right? Music of the risen Christ! You can't stop
it. Here's more.
"You can't stop the music; nobody can stop the music. Moving
with the wind, since the world began…the beat is gonna get cha.
The sound is getting louder. Music when we play, and when we
kneel to pray, there's music in the sound of the wind. Nobody
can stop the music. On the radio, on every TV show, for each and
every reason, in each and every season … Music for the show of
life that never ends.
Music on a plane, music on a train, sailing on the ocean,
music in the motion; music in your car, at your local bar. You
can't stop the music. Nobody can stop the music."
That's right. Nobody can stop the music. The joy of Easter
resides in everyone. If someone doesn't know that joy, it's up to
each of us to help them experience it. Let the joy of the risen
Christ shine through your life. Don't try to stop the music. You
can't stop the music. It's everywhere. You just have to listen for
it. Christ is alive and is everywhere you are because you carry
Christ with you. If you're going to go into a bar, you carry
Christ with you. It's not that you can't have a drink, or
shouldn't be in a bar (unless you're underage, of course) but that
you don't become a different person there, as though you weren't
carrying Christ with you. Remember that. Every believer carries
Christ everywhere they go.
You can't stop the music. You can put in ear plugs or try to
block it out, but you can't stop it. When you drive a car, you
carry Christ with you, and you shouldn't become a different, a
negative person behind the wheel.
You can try to ignore the music of Christ, but you can't stop
it, and the minute you let go and stop trying to block it, it's
going to grab you and shake you to your very foundations. That's
what happens to new believers and that's what happens at revivals.
Folks who are believers come to revival gatherings to refresh,
renew their spirit. They let go of whom they are trying to be on
their own, and let God help them be who they really are.
You know, you could have that experience today. Every one of us
has little or big things in our lives that are like stones rolled
against a tomb trying to block out the music. Anytime, EVERY time
you gather with others for worship you can have a revival of your
soul that will shake you to your foundations. You can let God roll
back the stone or stones in your life that block the light of
Christ from bringing you fully into his love and grace.
Listen to the music not just in the hymns or anthems in church.
Listen to the music of life, just like in the words of the song I
quoted. The music of life is the risen Christ; and because Christ
lives, we shall live also! Hear it in everything; feel the music
that sings within you. Your soul sings; your soul rejoices!
Rejoice with it. Don't try to stop the music. You can't stop the
music. Let your soul sing. Let your life sing. Every stone in our
life that has been blocking the music has been rolled away! Let us
let the living Christ shine in and through our lives. Christ is
risen! (He is risen indeed! Alleluia!)