Lection Connection - Spirit Sightings

March 31, 2019: A Traitor for Grace

From Ray McGinnis

 

In 2019, the song “7 Rings” by Ariana Grande has held the #1 spot on the Billboard Hot 100 for six non-consecutive weeks. The song has also climbed to the top position on the pop charts in Australia, Canada, the Czech Republic, Estonia, Finland, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Malaysia, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Scotland, Singapore, Slovakia, Sweden, Switzerland, and England. It’s in the Top 5 in Austria, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany Italy, Mexico, Spain, and Venezuela. “7 Rings” also set the record for the most “streams” – 16.9 million – in one week.

 

The lyrics describe someone who believes money can solve all their problems. They also believe that “happiness is the same price as red bottoms.” They go to the Blue Box Café at Tiffany’s jewelry store for breakfast. Tiffany & Co. on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan was the first-ever retail dining concept restaurant. In 2019, breakfast at Tiffany’s costs $32 U.S. The shopper in “7 Rings” brags that they also bought “bottles of bubbles” – so at least two bottles of champagne. These cost $70 US to $130 US per bottle. That’s one expensive breakfast.

 

The song's protagonist boasts about buying diamonds, getting their eyelashes done, decorating their neck and hair with jewelry, buying houses and a jet. Their god is retail therapy and their mantra is “I see it, I like it, I want it, I got it.” In the video, Ariana Grande pours bottles of wine over the heads of her friends.

 

In the Atlantic, Spencer Kornhaber writes about the inspiration for the song. Ariana Grande had been engaged to comedian Pete Davidson. “After calling off their engagement, she went with six of her best friends to Tiffany’s, got drunk on champagne, and bought everyone in her posse her own engagement ring. It’s a tale of mega-wealthy indulgence that’s both charming and sickening, a combination that Grande tacitly acknowledges with this song. She’s bragging, not apologizing, about doing something wasteful – an empowering rebellion, supposedly.” Others in the media have suggested that “7 Rings” is a “women’s empowerment anthem.”

 

Explore…Luke 15:1-3, 11b-32

  • What is a prodigal? What does the prodigal son do while he is away from his father and brother? Why does the father welcome his prodigal son back and throw a party?
  • What do you think the song “7 Rings” about? Why do you think it is such an international success?
  • Do you think “7 Rings” is a song of women’s empowerment, or celebration of wasteful excess?
  • Do you think God cares how we spend our money?

 

Prayer…

God of family, relationships, and community, we each try to find ways to experiment and express our unique individuality. Help us to discern our freedom to express ourselves and the way our actions affect our relationships with others. Help us to walk in your way. In Christ we pray. Amen.

 

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