Come On People Now!

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Sitting in a coffee shop today wiping tears from my eyes listening to Lizz Wright’s version of the ‘60s song made popular by the Youngbloods, Get Together.” I defy you to listen to it as much with your heart as with your ears, thinking of the world we now live in, and do it without some emotion. Whatever you feel, sadness or hope or both all mashed together.

Though a child of the ‘60’s the lyrics never struck me so profoundly as they did today. Maybe it took a newer version of the song to give me a fresh appreciation for what it conveys. Listen to it while following along with the words. Whatever your generation, whatever your politics, and whatever your spirituality, I think we could use an anthem such as this for our time.

Love is but a song to sing

Fear’s the way we die

You can make the mountains ring

Or make the angels cry

Though the bird is on the wing

And you may not know why

 

Come on people now

Smile on your brother

Everybody get together

Try to love one another

Right now

 

Some may come and some may go

We shall surely pass

When the one that left us here

Returns for us at last

We are but a moment’s sunlight

Fading in the grass

 

If you hear the song I sing

You will understand (listen!)

You hold the key to love and fear

All in your trembling hand

Just one key unlocks them both

It’s there at your command

Of course, as a Christian, my eyes fall first on the clear biblical phrases:

When the One that left us here

Returns for us at last

We are but a moment’s sunlight

Fading in the grass

Jesus will come back and fix it and fix us! In the meantime, we have to pay attention to the stark contrast and inevitable consequences of both love and fear.

  • Love is a captivating song and fear is how we are held captive and die emotionally, socially, and spiritually…
  • How we love or fear one another makes mountains sing or make angels cry…
  • And while our hands may tremble we can still hold and use the key that locks up fear and unlocks love… Seems a simple enough proposition.

Our time, in my opinion, is as tumultuous as when this song was popular half a century ago. Then we had an ill-conceived conflict in Viet Nam, a Cold War with the USSR, the Kennedy and King assassinations, Nixon’s lies and crimes, horrific racial strife, corporate corruption, class wars, and strife (to say the least) between the generations…

Today we’re terrified of terrorists (real and imagined), plagued by mass shootings in places of worship and on school grounds, a chaotic national administration, immense stress between the loyalists of both parties, racism (which has either made a comeback or has emerged out of the shadows), climate change which disproportionately threatens the poor, a national homelessness crisis, the greatest gap between the rich and poor ever, discord between the sexes, a humanitarian crisis at the border, a tanking educational system, the largest percentage of uninsured people in decades, immigration policy chaos, truth decay in every level of government, Russian interference in our democracy, media and social media wars, and on and on…

Friends, it’s time to cease fearing and start genuinely loving one another! Not in some hippie dippy way that only works under the influence of psychedelics (not that I know anything about that!). I’m talking about being under the influence of the God who is love.

We have at the tips of the fingers of our trembling hands the key to a better world. If we’ll just listen, we’ll understand!

Come on people now

Smile on your brother

Everybody get together

Try to love one another

RIGHT NOW!

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