I’ve become a bit of a fan of reading famous rock star biographies/autobiographies and watching documentaries that outline their stories and use their music.
Perhaps it’s a form of living my rock star dream vicariously through them. But another big part of my fascination with them is to get a closer glimpse at what made them different than the rest. What’s the difference between a good musician, a good performer, a good songwriter, and a great one?
In this very bizarre November we are having regarding a massive surprise victory of the president elect (a surprise no matter what political side a person takes), and with the heartbreaking news of the sudden passing of the great Leonard Cohen, I found myself turning to great musicians and poets for answers.
Originally I tapped into Cohen’s words for comfort. He’s been such a gift to the world with his music and his poetry. So I thought the obvious choice would be his quote, “There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.”
But with our November missional theme of peace, and with the protests, anger, fear of the unknown, and this ominous sense of pending violence and war, I turned to the late/great Jimi Hendrix for wisdom.
He’s credited with saying this:
“When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace.”
Now that’s a quote for our time.
It’s not one where we only get to sit back and point fingers and lay blame. It’s one that causes us to take a good look at ourselves and reflect on where we might be guilty of loving power more than, well, love.
So as we hope and pray for peace in November, what might it look like for us to take an honest look at our own power structures that get in the way of peace? Let’s keep that in mind as we continue to strive to be ‘The Hand of God in the Heart of the City.”
All is not well in this world.
We remember today the obvious deep division amongst your people.
There is fighting amongst friends in person and on social media.
There is name calling aimed at people on the other side of their politics.
There is deep fear of the unknown amongst your people.
Sometimes we simply do not know what or how to pray.
There were many occasions where you could have commandeered an army and destroyed your enemies with unprecedented military force.
You could have faced those who were against you with might and overcome them with violence.
You could have made anyone who opposed you simply disappear, never to be heard from again.
But you didn’t.
You chose a different way.
A way that is neither liberal nor conservative.
You chose to turn the other cheek.
You chose love and not hate.
You chose forgiveness and not revenge.
You chose peace and not war.
You chose to demonstrate the power of love and not the love of power.
Help us to follow your example,