i love indie rock. the early to mid-90s songs of dinosaur jr., sebadoh, pavement and superchunk always take me back. but more than just the music itself, there is something appealing to me about the ethos of indie rock. artists like ian mackaye and jonah matranga embody the do-it-yourself and music-centered spirit of independent rock and roll.

canadian indie rock artists the arcade fire have enjoyed critical and commercial success with their latest release neon bible. while their live performances have been described a “joyous” and “infectious,” the lyrical ground they cover is a bit darker. for example, here are some lyrics from the song “intervention” (which they performed recently on saturday night live):

Been working for the church while your life falls apart
They’re singing hallelujah when defeating your heart
Every spark of friendship and love will die without a home
Hear the soldier groan all quiet and alone
Hear the soldier groan all quiet and alone

i am sure there are multiple layers of meaning to this song. perhaps there is a political or personal analogy. but as someone whose vocation is in church ministry, i cannot ignore the face value of these lyrics. sadly, these words from an outsider are often the reality many church workers face (as eugene cho wrote about in his excellent post on pastoral health).

may the sparks of friendship & love burn deep and bright in the hearts of God’s people, especially those whose vocation is in the church.