Living in Houston and having a few friends who are up on the hip-hop scene, while also paying attention to the Christian hip-hop scene, I have heard and seen the name Corey Paul. Honestly, I hadn't listened to any of his music until today, and have only heard Black Hearse. I also am familiar with Sketch the Journalist, given that I have a roommate who raps, and that I regularly read the Houston Chronicle. This morning, Sketch posted an interview with Corey Paul on his Jesus Musik blog, discussing among other things, how he began rapping, his musical past, and how marriage has affected his personal life and music ministry.
I won't begin to identify with the characters or theme of this song in the opening scene of gunfire and chaos. I was blessed and received the grace of a stable family, neighborhood, and upbringing. There were many guys in high school that identified with an urban lifestyle and listened to gangster rap, but ultimately lived a pretty typical suburban life. But, there is some common ground between both lifestyles. The larger topic of reverence that was discussed between Sketch and Corey Paul resonated with me.
While I, and nearly all of my friends, were not witnesses to any sort of aggravated lifestyle, there was a distinct reverence felt at times. Having grown up in Metro Detroit, I, and most of my friends, grew up Catholic. If there's one thing that I can say I am thankful for from my upbringing in the Catholic Church, it would be the reverence that is displayed to Christ, and the Church. However, like many others, reverence was only an act that took place during a time when there was tragedy or hardship, or when it was expected in a larger group setting or sacrament surrounding those that were priest, deacons or staff of a church. Reverence wasn't a common rhythm or daily way of life. This doesn't surprise me now, as I was guilty of this lack of overall reverence of God. It was as if reverence was only meant for God when I was around those that were seen as godly, and when I was at church. We're often blind to the fact that God is omnipresent, and exists outside church walls.
Reverence for God should not be limited to grieving someone's death, or in some other form of loss. Hebrews 12:28 calls us to reverence in our worship, with thankfulness for the kingdom we've received through Christ. Let us continue to have reverence in all our worship. I just pray our worship is of the one true God, and not of money, relationships, sex, status or power; and that we are reverent at other times than when a Black Hearse is rolling down the street.
I look forward to Grace, Love, Mercy, and hope to be able to check out a show sometime soon here in Houston.