Sunday, May 24, 2015

The Gospel According To Todd

My pulpit minster, David Yasko, often incorporates a line in his sermons with a number of variations but it goes something like this:
"To quote that great theologian, Bob Dylan, 'You gotta serve somebody!' "

I told him tonight I was going to borrow his illustration and he gave me the blessing so here goes.

Do you ever get a song stuck in your head and like the sniffles, it just hangs around? That happened to me in recent weeks except it wasn't so much a song as the opening line of a song. I thought it was from the 1980's but in a rarity for me, I could not remember the artist. The initial line went like this:
"Name your price, a ticket to paradise...."
 A google search of those seven words produced the information that the song title was Love Is The Answer and it was made famous by the duo England Dan And John Ford Coley 
and I remembered. What I didn't know but learned from WIKIPEDIA is that  the song was written by Todd Rundgren whose version never did anything. Then I sat up and took notice. You see, I went through a Todd Rundgren phase in my life, even writing one of these devotionals about him three years ago entitled Todd And My Team about one spring playing baseball for the York College Panthers. The funny thing, is that I always thought it was just another love song when I heard it decades ago but looking at the lyrics in 2015 reveals something much deeper, maybe even spiritual. Here are the lyrics:

Name your price
A ticket to paradise
I can't stay here any more
And I've looked high and low
I've been from shore to shore to shore
If there's a short cut I'd have found it
But there's no easy way around it

Light of the world, shine on me
Love is the answer
Shine on us all, set us free
Love is the answer

Who knows why
Someday we all must die
We're all homeless boys and girls
And we are never heard
It's such a lonely world
People turn their heads and walk on by
Tell me, is it worth just another try?

Tell me, are we alive, or just a dying planet?
What are the chances?
Ask the man in your heart for the answers

And when you feel afraid, love one another
When you've lost your way, love one another
When you're all alone, love one another
When you're far from home, love one another
When you're down and out, love one another
All your hopes run out, love one another
When you need a friend, love one another
When you're near the end, love one another
We got to love one another

Light of the world, you got to shine
Love will be a means, yeah, yeah
Shine on us all
Know that love can save the day
Just give it one more chance
Lord you just cant let it stop lord
Love is the answer
Got to be free to let love into your life
Let it shine

There is a sing and respond feel to the song with a chorus, almost as in a chorus or congregational singing. There is the possible Jesus reference to the light of the world and the repetition eight times of love one another which the Apostle John invokes six times in his first two epistles. You know, I might be way off base and perhaps it had no spiritual overtones at all. But I  admire Todd's thesis that in this dark world, the answer to every crisis and heartache can only be found in the one syllable, four letter word, love. And we know that God is love. The Bible tells me so. And so in a sense does that great theologian, Todd Rundgren.

Applicable quote of the day:
It's hard for me to say that what I'm doing isn't even really music, because deep inside of me, what I want to do is much greater than music.
Todd Rundgren

To listen to Todd Rundgren's original version of Love Is The Answer, please copy and paste the link below:

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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