Samba Theology


Siempre tu estás conmigo con mi tristeza
Estás en mi alegría y en mi sufrir
Porque en ti se encierra toda mi vida…

“You are always with me in my sadness, you are in my happiness and my suffering; for my whole life is locked up in you…”

These could be the lyrics of a spiritual song, thanking God for His abiding presence and expressing the worshipper’s complete devotion to Him.

But they’re not. They are the lyrics of Tu Mi Delirio, a sad, beautiful, mellow love song written by César Portillo de La Luz in 1966 and sung by the incomparable Brazilian songstress, Astrud Gilberto.

It’s interesting to me how some contemporary religious songs, used in a different context, could pass for popular romantic songs. I realize some of that can be attributed to the fact that religious music has become an industry, and there is a lot of crossover marketing going on.

But if we flip the coin and ask why some popular love songs could also pass for songs of worship in another context, I think the answer can be found in Romans 1. Paul tells us that despite the fact that “His eternal power and divine nature” are clearly evident in Creation itself, humanity has  “changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.” (Rom 1.20,25)

Could ascribing to a lover or even a spouse the attributes of God be a manifestation of the default setting of human nature? Love songs may be harmless enough, but if a person truly expects of a person what one can only receive from God, that’s a form of idolatry, right?

Just wondering…

Photo of Ipanema Beach is from the blog riofoto. Bible quotations are from the ESV.

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2 thoughts on “Samba Theology”

  1. Chris, that’s a very appropriate text to bring into this discussion, and I agree with your comment. People do have a craving for a relationship with God, though their autonomy as fallen humanity, as well as Satan’s blinding of their eyes, do not allow them to understand that.

  2. I really think you’re right, Rob. More and more in recent years I’ve been thinking that rather than impatiently dismiss worldly lusts and those caught up in them I need pause long enough to identify with the deeper longings of the heart. Seems to me since the fall we never actually stopped wanting the good things that God prepared for us–we just thought we’d enjoy them more without the interference of God himself. So we’ve disassociated the blessings from the blesser. I think a major need in pastoral as well as evangelistic work is to help people reconnect their soul’s cravings with their Creator and Sustainer so they can be made holy.

    I think Paul is touching on this idea in 1 Tim. 4:4-5. “For everything created by God is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, for it is made holy by the word of God and prayer.” (ESV)

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