And I, when I came to you, brothers, did not come proclaiming to you the testimony of God with lofty speech or wisdom. For I decided to know nothing among you except Jesus Christ and him crucified. (1 Corinthians 2:1-2)
I’ve known Cooper since he was 9 years old. He is special in a lot of ways. He is the adopted son of two of my best friends in the world. Cooper and I play basketball and Xbox together. We've gone on family road trips and to baseball games together. He has seen me win and he has seen me fail. Cooper is my friend, my friend who has autism.
A few nights ago, Cooper went with me to pick-up his Dad at the airport. The fact that I’m one of the very few people Cooper will go places with alone is not lost on me. I try to make these occasions fun for him. Most of the time we talk about how he is the best basketball player in the world and we debate on whether or not Arkansas will ever be as good as Clemson (at any sport)
As we drove, I let Cooper put his favorite song on the car stereo. By “favorite” I mean this is the song he listens to on repeat—all day, every day. It’s safe to say, you’ve never loved a song the way Cooper loves this song.
I decided to put my phone on the dashboard and record us driving down the road, blasting his favorite song. At one point in the video, something happens that only struck me after watching it. As the song ended, I said to Cooper, “I wonder what song is next?”
He responded, “I don’t think I’m going to have a next song.”
“What song is next?” I asked again.
“Same one!” Cooper said with a laugh.
Yes, Cooper had the song on repeat. Endless repeat. There was no “next song.” For Cooper, this is the only song that matters. The only song he wants to hear. The only song he never gets tired of.
As I watched the video and laughed, I realized Cooper and I are the same. I’m a guy with one song on repeat. Every time I write, or podcast, or preach, I’m just saying the same thing over and over again. Christ crucified so sinners like you and me could be freely justified by grace alone, through faith alone—is the only song I know. It’s the song I never get tired of. It’s the song I put on endless repeat because I endlessly need to hear it. I write the gospel to myself, talk the gospel to myself, and preach the gospel to myself, because I need it. And I assume you’re just like me and need it too.
Those who read or listen or attend service may wonder, “What song is next?” and just like my buddy Cooper, I say: “Same one!”
As the son of a Pastor, Daniel Emery Price was raised in church and various kinds of Christian ministry in a small town in rural Arkansas. He began writing and performing music in his teen years and was heavily involved in worship ministry before moving to Seattle in his early twenties to pursue a career in music. He later moved to Phoenix and returned to leading worship and took a leadership position in youth/collegiate ministry, before moving back to Arkansas where he helped plant Trinity Church NWAin 2009, and he now serves as Pastor. Daniel lives in Northwest Arkansas with his wife Jessica and their daughter Anna. He is a regular guest on theological radio shows, podcasts, and is a conference speaker. Daniel is a Contributor to Christ Hold Fast and a co-host of the weekly podcasts, 40 Minutes in the Old Testament and 30 Minutes in the New Testament. He is the author of the forthcoming book, Scandalous Stories: A Sort of Commentary on Parables.