(Photo by Selma Komisky)
Editor’s Note: September, 2019
By Sarah Komisky
When my friend’s son was twelve, he had a hard time connecting with his age group. It wasn’t that he was socially awkward or bullied. No, he was an old soul. After all, he couldn’t find any youth group kids that liked, let alone even knew who Chuck Berry, U2, or The Ramones were. Mostly he would keep to himself at church, as he strummed a guitar often strapped around his back. However, one day everything changed when my mom wore a shirt of one of the greatest bands of all time. “You like The Beatles?” He asked her directly. She smiled and shared about her record collection handed down from her teenage brother in the 60’s. Not too long after at, he whipped out his guitar and started strumming a variety of different songs. My mom sang along. His parents smiled. Soon, we were caught up in a sing-along of “Come Together.” Funny how music and a little intentionality can do that.
Back up to the late ‘90s and early 2000s and I can still remember the cranky AOL connection that allowed me to go online. Today I laugh at the thought of students whispering in class about Myspace. I still remember the look on the guy’s face next to me in class, “What is that?” Little did that guy or any of us know how much it would impact the world – the world which we at Marked Ministry reach today.
I go out to lunch and a Shawn Mendes song plays in the background. I ask my tween friend if she likes the pop star to which she gushes an obvious “Yes!! This is like my playlist!!” “Yeah I like him too, “ I shared. “I think he’s kind of like the new Justin Timberlake.” To which she passionately disagreed, “He’s sooooo much better. Justin Timberlake is old.” I laughed sharing about my old Jr. High crush. Yep, crushes still go on, they just change with the decade.
When I was brainstorming for the new issue, the idea of relevant issues came up like: Racism, Shootings, Cultural change. My mature friend responded, “I was fourteen when Woodstock occurred. It’s definitely like the ‘60s today. Turbulent times.”
Opening my closet, my niece spots a well-worn denim jacket. “Try it on,” I suggest. Her face beams as I offer to roll up her sleeves a bit. It’s the same one I wore in Jr. High. The same one she thinks is cool now. It’s probably a replica of one that my mom wore in the ‘80s – minus the distressed areas.
When we think of the past, we might associate something archaic, something old-fashioned. Something my little niece would raised her brows and shake her head to (just like she did when I looked up an old song on YouTube – alas). However, there is a lot we can learn from the past. In fact, more times than we realize, when we are connecting the dots – not just in culture, but also in the world as a whole, the current issues we are facing today, and also in our faith. Life around us may change. We adopt new ideas. Look back with fondness on old ones. But the Bible is the one thing that remains constant.
That’s why, this month at Marked Ministry, we are releasing a retro inspired issue. We are going to pull out our old VHS, CDs, and photos and throwback a little. We’re going to rewind and have some fun. We invite you to hear some stories. To honor what was. To learn from the good and the ugly. We will ask questions. Draw parallels from the past to present. Leave room for rediscoveries. Dream new dreams, and ultimately, find hope. As we keep God at the center, we take a look from a Biblical perspective on our culture of the past and present.
May you find new rediscoveries in this fusion of classic and contemporary.