I’ve probably seen Pitch Perfect about 10 or 12 times since it came out in 2012. I didn’t expect to like the film when my wife insisted we see it, but I loved it so much that I bought the soundtrack.
I’ve listened to Katy Perry’s new single, “Roar” about 10 times today. The lyrics and music are both pretty derivative of other artists’ songs, but I really like the way that it sounds, especially the last minute of the song.
There are some things in life that are worth repeating over and over again. Some of those things might be silly like a pop song or a movie about collegiate a cappella competitions, but there are other things that dig into our souls and make us whole that we repeat over and over.
The Christian life is often about repetition. We repeat the words of the Creeds, we recite the Lord’s Prayer, we sing the Sanctus every Sunday, we read through the Bible every year, we take Communion every week, etc. These prayers and songs and rituals that we repeat aren’t like a pop song, though. These things are life giving, but different in an essential way: they aren’t always fun to do.
We might grow tired of a pop song or a movie after listening or watching it for the 20th time. The consequence is that we maybe cringe when we hear the song on the radio and little else. We can also grow tired of saying prayers and the liturgy, but the difference in cutting prayers and liturgy out of our lives is tremendous.
When we give up on prayer and Scripture and meeting together at Church we’re doing more than clearing our schedule; we’re removing the elements that make us alive to God and dead to sin. We don’t repeat these things to appease God or to earn his favor, we repeat them because they make us into Christians. We pray prayers written by others because so often our own words fail us; we continue to read Scriptures to remind us that we are living in God’s story, not our own; we meet together to worship God that we might recognize that God calls to himself a people, not a person. We need to be reminded often and regularly of the good news that God loves us, that Jesus is alive, and that the Spirit is working in us. Sometimes it can feel repetitious to be a Christian, but trust that through such repetition God reveals himself to us and changes us into the kinds of people we were designed to be.