Typically I don’t watch a lot of primetime tv. I follow certain shows but by the time I get home it’s late and after eating dinner and doing a few things I just want to go to bed. However, I heard a lot of buzz about The Voice this week and knew I had to YouTube one of the contestant’s performances. Craig Wayne Boyd is a semi-finalist this year and he decided to sing “The Old Rugged Cross”. He’s not personally my cup of tea music-wise, but the guy has talent regardless of my opinion. And I totally respect that he chose to glorify God on national television. I mean think about it; “looking at the preliminary national estimates from Nielsen, NBC’s “The Voice” averaged a 2.5 rating/7 share in adults 18-49 and 10.6 million viewers overall from 8 to 10 p.m.” [Source: http://variety.com/2014/data/ratings/monday-ratings-nbcs-voice-wins-but-remains-sluggish-abcs-light-fight-brighter-1201374830/] So whether people expected to hear it or not, God was glorified and His name was declared and made famous to all 10.6 million people who tuned in to the show.
I got chills watching this. Not necessarily because Boyd was great, but because God is great. I think growing up as a Christian this wasn’t ever happening. Being a Christian was a secret in a way. People might know that you are a Christian in passing but it was never really allowed to be talked about. I still think this exists today, but Christians are becoming more and more bold. The entertainment industry for example is being infiltrated with Christian artists, directors and producers. Things that weren’t being aired years ago are now front and center. Matthew 5:14-16 MSG says:
14-16 “Here’s another way to put it: You’re here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We’re going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don’t think I’m going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I’m putting you on a light stand. Now that I’ve put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you’ll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.
In other words, this man sung a song. He got onto a show and sung a song about God. Whether intentional or not he witnessed to all of America that God is not a secret. He is stirring the hearts of people everywhere. He is encouraging people to open up with God. To be honest about their curiosity for something greater than this human life. To know God.
I was shocked to hear Pharrell Williams pose the following question to Boyd: “”I have a question for you, what does it feel like to be at the top of your game and to surrender it to God in front of all of the whole entire world?” My jaw nearly dropped! It’s like Boyd singing this song had a ripple effect and without specifically saying it Pharrell was also declaring God in his own way. I think it’s breathtaking that in a competition show where people have their eyes on the prize that Boyd declared this:
And I love that old cross where the dearest and best
For a world of lost sinners was slain.
So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross,
Till my trophies at last I lay down;
I will cling to the old rugged cross,
And exchange it some day for a crown
This is a man who knows his trophy will not come from this show. It might. It might not. Ultimately all of these worldly prizes pale in comparison to God and the prize of salvation.
This just reminds me how God is on the move. God is being declared in ways he never was before. It’s exciting days we live in, isn’t it?