Monday, October 29, 2007

Jesus and Bruce Springsteen

've always had an eclectic taste when it comes to music, and think it stems entirely from my parents and older siblings. I have vivid memories of being a little guy, and listening the likes of The Temptations, The Eagles, The Beatles, Bon Jovi, Rich Mullins, Billy Joel, and James Taylor among others. I loved that music, to the point that I had my sister dressed me up as Bruce Springsteen one Halloween! Now, at seven years old I could understand the concept behind "My Girl," but I had no idea what James Taylor meant when he sang "I've seen fire and I've seen rain." I'm thankful that my family exposed me to this music because now I'll go back and try to understand what the artist was conveying. Though I'm aware many of those songs lack any true meaning, I've learned that some artists spoke real truth. For example, I recently saw a televised Bruce Springsteen (my 1989 Halloween hero) concert and he made a striking comment. He was playing a song titled "Jesus Was an Only Son" which was written from Mary's point of view; watching her son crucified. After playing his song, the Boss, visibly emotional, stated that he was overcome with compassion for Mary having to watch her son be murdered. So he decided to write a song about it. He closed with this comment: "If we lose our compassion, do we really have a claim to the divine?"

I don't know your feelings about Bruce Springsteen. You may think he can't sing and you may disagree with his politics. Regardless, his statement is truly profound. Paul teaches in 2 Corinthians that God is the author of compassion. However compassion is more than just a feeling, action follows. Seven times the gospels mention Jesus having compassion on someone. Every time, that feeling of compassion was followed by an action to help. So how often do we truly have compassion on our fellow man? When we see a man standing on a corner asking for food/money/gas are we compassionate? Or do we think "Deadbeat, he should get a job." In John 21 Jesus tells Peter that if he truly loves Him, to care for his people. In Matthew 25, Jesus teaches that what we have or haven't done for "the least of these brothers of mine," we have or haven't done for Him. So maybe Bruce was right. When our compassion is gone, when we dismiss someone else's burden, what claim do we have to loving Jesus?

"Ain't no doubt in no one's mind that love is the finest thing around." -James Taylor 1968

"And now these three things remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love."-The Apostle Paul AD 55

Love God. Love people.