Your Blog Steward

My photo
Omaha, Nebraska, United States
I am more and more convinced that most congregations die from a staggering lack of imagination. Let's change that. Let's imagine a creative future with God and each other together. Drop me a line on email or leave a comment if you have thoughts on God, Jesus, congregations, the church or whatever.... I look forward to our conversations.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Rest in Peace Joe Cocker

Wow. I love Joe Cocker. I hope the music he sings now is as powerful as the music he left us. Here's link to the announcement of his death.

OK. Let's get something out of the way from the get-go: Joe Cocker was a singer. He took tunes others had written and made famous, and he made them famous again with his rendition. I mean, "Little Help From My Friends" didn't exactly keep the Beatles from rock-stardom, and the song made Cocker famous.

I remember as a kid staying up to watch the Midnight Special, and whenever Cocker appeared to be utterly amazed that this guy had a career in music. I mean, it was like you took the guy at your local bar who only sings when he's smashed and gave him a microphone. But man, did his songs rock...

Here's my favorite Cocker song: Leave your hat on. (Plus you get Mickey Rourke and Kim Basinger. Never say I can't please an audience.) I do a kareoke version of his "Unchain My Heart" because it's just so fun. 

I guess this is just the first of many deaths I can expect over the next 10 years or so. Eventually, Clapton, Stewart, Morrison, Young, Henley, and even Dylan. Maybe the women will last longer? (You go, Chrissy Hynde!) Nobody lives forever, but I've been listening to Joe Cocker for 40 years, and it is weird, if nothing else, to think of him as dead. But he is...

In 48 hours I will be preaching to 400 people about a birth, about a baby whose death and resurrection changed the world. What changed was that forgiveness now becomes the centerpiece of life, rather than just an afterthought or decoration. Being able to forgive is the whole reason for learning to live. Joe Cocker provided a lot of music for me to think about in learning to forgive. May he rest in peace.

May your tables be full and your conversations be true.

No comments: