General CBF

The Passion to Keep Singing

So our children took Sue and me to IHOP last week for what I thought was just a nice breakfast and time to catch up.  After ordering, they said “Happy belated Father’s Day,” gave me a wrapped package, and told me to open it (they actually said something like “Happy  Father’s Day, Happy Birthday, and Merry Christmas for years to come”…you’ll understand why in a second).

I opened the gift to find a Beatles t-shirt.  As they know (and have known all their lives), I ADORE the Beatles, so giving me a Beatles “t” was pretty awesome in itself.  But when they said “There’s more” and I looked down and saw the real gift, I almost fell off my seat – two tickets to that night’s Paul McCartney concert in Washington DC!  No way was the smile coming off my face the rest of the day!

I could hardly wait for the concert.  Then it came.  Two hours and forty wonderful minutes, seated with Sue and 40,000 other crazies in Nationals Stadium, listening to what is for me some of the greatest music on the planet.  I hummed, sang along, clapped my hands, screamed, applauded, and reminisced, depending on the Beatles or Wings song being played.  And just soaked in my own magical, mystery tour experience.

But at the end of those 2 hours and 40 minutes, what I came away with most was stunned admiration for the joy and enthusiasm of a 71 year-old-man who, Lord knows, wasn’t doing it for the money or the fame, but who amazed me as he played multiple instruments, sang until he was hoarse, and generally just “rock and rolled,” all with the grit and stamina of a 21 year old.

Unbelievable energy!  Unbelievable passion!  But as much as I love that music I know, as a Jesus follower, I of course have an even better song to sing, a much greater story to tell, especially in today’s fractured and contentious world.  Mine – shared with all other Jesus’ followers – is an incredible song capable of bridging divisions and filling in social and cultural divides.  That’s because mine, and ours, is a Jesus song, a song of reconciliation, love, acceptance and welcome, a song Jesus himself sang throughout his entire life, a song the early Christians intoned from Jerusalem to Rome in the first century with incredible Spirit-filled passion.

Debates and arguments, even misguided laws and policies, on immigration, race, gender and so much more just keep tearing our society and our churches apart, and seem never ending.  And I ask, when does it ever get better?  When will welcome and community and mutual love ever win out?  But maybe that’s the wrong question.  “Do I have the hunger and drive to keep singing the song?” may actually be a better question.  For in reality, the end is God’s concern…the passion to keep singing is mine.

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