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Wilderness to Water. Reflections regarding God's faithfulness, character, love, and the gospel of Jesus Christ. An examination of God's grace and power through meditative prose, poetry, original drawings and full-color photographs.

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Such a Sad Song

The church has always had to encounter the voices and whisperings of the times, the lures and threats of the age, but her prime obligation and call have remained unaltered to this day, that is to withstand the temptations and fence off the dangers of compromising her integrity through various forms of servility to contemporary projects.
—Folke Olofsson

Now that I know what I feel must be right
I'm here to show everybody the light
—John Lennon (“The Word”)

John Lennon stood at the top of the charts. He and his music attained legendary status. For many, the very mention of his name still evokes worshipful adulation. He is honored. He is revered, and his legacy is venerated. Even his image has become a moving cultural icon, and the words he wrote still carry unparalleled spiritual significance to his faithful devotees and disciples.

Who, after all, can forget the haunting melody and profoundly moving lyrics of the Woodstock era’s sacred anthem of hope, peace and utopian global unity?

Imagine there's no heaven
It's easy if you try
No hell below us
Above us only sky
Imagine all the people
Living for today...
Imagine there's no countries
It isn't hard to do
Nothing to kill or die for
And no religion too
Imagine all the people
Living life in peace...
You may say I'm a dreamer
But I'm not the only one
I hope someday you'll join us
And the world will be as one…

Who can forget this simply-stated and famously unmatched insight:

“All you need is love!”

….or the incisive, clear-headedness of his penetrating wisdom:

“Always, no sometimes, think it's me, but you know I know when it's a dream.
I think I know I mean a 'Yes' but it's all wrong, that is I think I disagree…..”

Deep, deep progressive stuff….. Strawberry Fields forever.

Perhaps more than any other celebrity, John Lennon has emerged…(posthumously)… as the chief pop-cultural guru and spiritual guide for the hip, the wise and the cool. Today, his music and his name are idolized and adored by the non-conforming rebel idealists and self-described young-at- heart no matter what their chronological age might be.

Lennon, the legend, lives on as an exalted heroic figure of hope for post-modern, secular man….

Say the word and you'll be free
Say the word and be like me
Say the word I'm thinking of
Have you heard the word is love?
It's so fine, it's sunshine,
It's the word, love.
(“The Word”, Rubber Soul, 1965)

Some may be old enough to recall the controversial and proudly prophetic words (below) that the gifted songwriter spoke in1966 when the “Fab Four” began to truly bask in the pop-worldwide limelight:

"Christianity will go. It will vanish and shrink. I needn't argue with that; I'm right and I will be proved right. We're more popular than Jesus now; I don't know which will go first - rock 'n' roll or Christianity."

I have wondered what it would have been like if Jesus had encountered John Lennon in the early morning hours in the Garden of Gethsemane just before that fateful final Passover in Jerusalem. What might Fab-Four John have advised the Lamb of God, the Messiah and Incarnate Word, as the Roman Guard arrested him that morning (John 18: 1-11)

I can only imagine.

"Kiss of Judas", Caravaggio, 1602

Such a Sad Song…Make It Better

Listen, Jesus…This is crazy …
There’s no need for you to die!
All you really need is love, man!
There’s no heaven…only sky!

Who the heck has filled your head with
All that nonsense in The Book?
Rock ‘n’ Roll’s the only good news
That can get us off the hook!

Follow me, and you’ll be famous…
Say the word and be like me!
Nowhere, man, has it been written
You’re the one to set us free.

You may say that I’m a dreamer,
But get real now, Mr. Christ!
There’s no need for sweating blood, sir…
No one needs your sacrifice!

I hope someday you will join us,
Maybe then you’ll see the light!
Such a sad song!... Make it better!
Dream the dream that’s outta sight!

Good Lord!... Drop your proud pretensions!
Lighten up, man!... Let it be!
Let my words for you be manna!…
Let these lyrics set you free!

Get behind me, Mister Jesus!
Let me tell you what I know…
You don’t need to shed your blood, sir,
'Cause there is no hell below!

Me ‘n’ Yoko have decided…
Come on, let us take you down!
Just pass over all that nonsense…,
It’s not kosher…It’s not sound!

Man, your thinking’s really twisted…
Nowhere, man….So Yesterday!
Look, my word!... Let’s come together…
Compromise!...Yeah! That’s The Way !

Close your eyes, …again, Imagine!
Nothing’s real!.....I have no doubt….
There’s no reason for the Cross, man!
Nothing to get hung about.

"Crucifixion", Simon Vouet, 1622

Lord, we thank you for your mercy,
Love is NOT, though, all we need!
We need Justice, Truth….Discernment!
We need Righteousness, indeed!

We need Grace and Revelation,
Yes, we need to see our Sin!
We need Light not Lennon-isms
We don’t need the Woodstock spin!

We don’t need more worldly wisdom,
Lord, of that we’ve had our fill !
We need more than pop-placebo,
We need Holiness instilled.

“From that time on Jesus began to explain to his disciples that he must go to Jerusalem and suffer many things at the hands of the elders, chief priests and teachers of the law and that he must be killed and on the third day be raised to life.

“Peter took him aside and began to rebuke him. ‘Never, Lord!’ he said. ‘This shall never happen to you.!’”

“Jesus turned and said to Peter, ‘Get behind me, Satan! You are a stumbling block to me; you do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men.”—Matthew 16: 21-23

“Indeed I am against those who prophesy false dreams”, declares the LORD. “They tell them and lead my people astray with their reckless lies…..”—Jeremiah 23: 32