Scripture:Jesus said, “When you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray
to your Father, who is unseen. (Mt. 6:6, NIV)
From time to
time a tune from somewhere in my past will come bubbling up into my consciousness.
No particular reason. Just something from the flotsam and jetsam of a lifetime
of experiences that makes its way to the surface. This particular tune isn’t
heard today, except maybe in old-time Bluegrass Gospel. Never the
less, I found myself musing to the words of Turn Your Radio On.
“Turn your radio on,
and listen to the music in the air.
Turn your radio on,
And the glory share.
Turn the lights down low,
And listen to the Master’s radio.
Get in touch with God,
Turn your radio on.”
The song wasn’t talking about radio as we know it today.
Most of the components in radios in the ‘20’s and ‘30’s were individually
bigger than radios we use now. Commercial radio broadcasting began in 1921;
KDKA in Pittsburgh was the first station licensed. Still on the air,
by the way.
Families gathered around the radio, perhaps turned
the lights down low, and listened - together! Music from some unseen,
far away place, right there in the room! Radio was a wonder, a miracle!
Even in those early days of radio, the gospel
was delivered in word and song. But in a time when this new wonder was so
little understood, it was apt to be compared to another form of communication
that was much used and enjoyed, without knowing exactly how it worked. Nor
do we understand prayer more today then they did then. Get in touch with God!
Sure, we still can receive the Lord’s word and song
via radio and TV, but the same wonder and magic doesn’t exist for the newbies
(Baby Boomers and up.) Nor do the words of Life Is Like a
Mountain Railway carry any particular meaning for them.
We have people in our congregation who were born before
KDKA. Most of us 'seniors' remember the hard times of the depression,
when airplanes were such a novelty that you rushed outside
to gawk when one flew over; the sacrifices during WWII. When you talked about
horsepower and you likely meant a team of horses. When you lit a lamp, but
not by flipping a switch. When you canned food, or salted it, because there
was no other way to preserve it.
When long-distance travel meant the train, until you ran out of tracks.
When neighbors worked together on a threshing crew, and knew everybody
for miles around. And saw most of them in church on Sunday;
People who gathered together as a family at mealtimes,
and (if you were able to have a radio) sat and listened as musicians far
away sang, Turn your radio
January 13, 2002
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