No doubt many will receive a gift of Adele’s music for Christmas. Her voice is strong, haunting, evocative. While her themes connect with life, they are mostly about life’s disappointments, life’s moments of almost happiness and what might have been. Her voice and style are new and stunning, but her words are time-worn and filled with the disappointment of the garden. You can almost hear Eve in the background longing for what might have been.
In this sense Adele’s music is not new. Her message is that of the ancient Greek tragedies and of Shakespeare. It is the message of the blues and post modernism. It is a message of commiseration, but not of hope.
Adele’s music stirs us to grasp what is impossible to hold. Just as we reach to touch the morning mists, our hands return empty. Hear her words from A Million Years Ago:
I know I’m not the only one
Who regrets the things they’ve done
Sometimes I just feel it’s only me
Who never became who they thought they’d be
I wish I could live a little more
Look up to the sky, not just the floor
I feel like my life is flashing by
And all I can do is watch and cry
I miss the air, I miss my friends
I miss my mother, I miss it when
Life was a party to be thrown
But that was a million years ago…
These thoughts are universal. Without the hope of redemption people are drawn to the artistry of those like Adele. They seek comfort where none can be found.
Through out redemptive history there have been these two great streams which flow side-by-side through life’s deserts. One is the stream of the lament and the almost that leads to death. The other is the stream of life which spreads hope and leads to green pastures. Christ has endured the stream of lament to bring hope and provide safe passage from the oppressive currents that flow from Eden.
Unlike the lyrics of Adele, Jesus says come to me when you are overwhelmed, struggling with burdens you cannot bear. Jesus says come to me and find rest and peace. His music does more than resonate, it heals.
So whether you give Adele’s music or receive it this Christmas, or even if you just hear it on the radio remember that life does not have to flash by. Remember there is more to life than what you miss. Remember there is Christ.