Film Friday: A Star is Born

‘Trust me. I’m going to sing it anyway all you have to do is join in.’

When rock star Jackson meets Ally after one of his concerts he ends up sitting in a car park hearing her sing one of her songs, or just as much of one of her songs as she dares sing in front of him. A few days later she is sidewacked to find herself flown out to one of his gigs and standing on the side of the stage. As soon as he sees her he tries to persuade her to come on stage, telling her that he has arranged her song and wants to sing it with her. She at first refuses, too scared to do it, but when she hears him start to sing it she is won over.

Sometimes something in life hits you between the eyes, or squarely in the core of your being, as if God himself is trying to tell you something. Incredibly, whilst watching this movie about the wild side of rock’n’roll, I had that kind of moment. When Jackson beckons Ally on stage and she refuses to go he gives her a great smile and says something like, ‘Trust me. I’m gonna play your song anyway, all you’ve got to do is join in.’ And suddenly there it was, boom. That moment. I often wonder about what I’m doing in life, if I’m being at all useful and helpful. And right here, out of the blue, was another piece of encouragement, not merely coming from the character of Jackson, but as if God were saying it to me himself. ‘I’m gonna sing the song anyway, all you have to do is join in.’ (It may seem strange to hear God’s voice through a secular film, but Jesus used many ordinary examples from life to bring God’s voice to folks. And in Acts chapter 17 verse 28 Paul quotes a Cretan philosopher called Epimenides, when he says of God, ‘In him we live and move and have our being.’)

In his letter to a bunch called the Ephesians, Paul tries to encourage them to keep going with the words, ‘You are God’s masterpiece. Created anew in Jesus so you can do the good things he has already prepared for you to do.’ The song, if you like, that he is already singing. His song. Our song. God is doing his work and inviting us to join in, and sing the way only we can. You see it does really matter that we sing our own way, and offer him our own songs so he can arrange them, because that’s why God has wired us up in the way he has. Unique, quirky, original. With our own voices and skills and strengths. But the limelight is not on us, it’s on him. He’s the star. And were invited to join him on that stage. I don’t know if this really says everything I felt in that blink-of-an-eye moment, but hopefully it makes some sense and is of some encouragement. Keep singing. Keep going. It’s Gods gig, and it’s vital that we keep offering our songs and singing (i.e. doing whatever we can do) with him.

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