“Take Me to Church” is a song by Irish recording artist Hozier. In May 2014, Hozier performed the song on the Late Show with David Letterman. He played it on SNL a few weeks ago and its heard on the sound track for the new movie Fury with Brad Pitt.
Hozier claims that “Take Me to Church” is a metaphor, with the main character comparing his lover to religion. The video follows the relationship between two men in a same-sex relationship and the violently homophobic attack that occurs when the community learns about their relationship. State magazine noted that the video echoes the wave of violence currently plaguing the LGBT community in many parts of the world, particularly Russia.
Regardless of the LGBT theme of the video, the imagery of one of the characters frantically burying a chained satchel case is powerful. What do you think is in the satchel? What secret is he hiding? It should beg us each to ask the same question.
What are we hiding?
What are we most afraid of being discovered about our own life?
The lyrics are powerful about a church that is often harsh and judgmental. Not loving. Not forgiving. We are told in scripture to confess our sins to one another (James 5:16) but are we walking along side others we can trust to love us through that confession? Can we have the safe, honest, open, transparent conversations about the darkest corner of our lives that we so ache to share.
Churches should be a safe harbor for the faint among us; a home for the most broken; a shelter for the hurting; a hospital for those most sick. The church should be a Gospel centered community of God’s gathered. It should offer to all the same love, joy, hope, and healing that God himself offers in the gospel through Christ to us all.
As the great Puritan preacher Richard Baxter once said, “churches are full of dying people called to love dying people.”
As the song cries…“Every Sunday’s getting more bleak, a fresh poison each week. I’ll tell you my sins and you can sharpen your knife. That’s a fine looking high horse. What you got in the stable? We’ve a lot of starving faithful.”
Lord, I pray for Sundays that aren’t bleak but full of light (Job 29:3; 33:30)
Lord, I pray that Your words be fresh, and not poison (Psalm 119:103)
Lord, I pray we sheath our knives (John 13:35)
Lord, I pray we climb off our high horses to be humble (Romans 12:16)
Lord, I pray the faithful will never hunger again when they come to Jesus (John 6:35)