Tuesday, October 03, 2006

"I" and "We" - Part 2

Here is an example of a song from the early days of the Jesus movement, like what Matthew Ward was talking about in the excerpt in Part 1. This is Asleep in the Light, by Keith Green.

Do you see, do you see, all the people sinking down,
Don't you care, don't you care, are you gonna let them drown,
How can you be so numb, not to care if they come,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done.

Oh Bless me Lord, bless me Lord, you know it's all I ever hear,
No one aches, no one hurts, no one even sheds one tear,
But He cries, He weeps, He bleeds, and He cares for your needs,
And you just lay back and keep soaking it in, oh, can't you see it's such sin?

Cause He brings people to your door,
And you turn them away, as you smile and say,
God bless you, be at peace, and all Heaven just weeps,
Cause Jesus came to your door, you've left Him out on the streets.

Open up, open up, and give yourself away,
You've seen the need, you hear the cry, so how can you delay,
God's calling and you're the one, but like Jonah you run,
He's told you to speak, but you keep holding it in,
Oh, can't you see it's such sin?

The world is sleeping in the dark,
That the church can't fight, cause it's asleep in the light,
How can you be so dead, when you've been so well fed,
Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can't even get out of bed,
Oh, Jesus rose from the dead, come on, get out of your bed.

How can you be so numb, not to care if they come,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done,
You close your eyes and pretend the job's done,
Don't close your eyes, don't pretend the job's done.
Come away, come away, come away with Me, My love,
Come away, from this mess, come away with Me, My love.

Keith GreenI read that, when Keith wrote this, he had friends and his wife advising him to tone down the lyrics; it was too harsh, too hard on believers they said. Keith refused to budge, insisting that the frustration he felt with the comfortable Christians be addressed. Honestly, this song hits me like a slap in the face; one that I desperately need to bring me out of the reverie I too often find myself in. What I guess saddens me is that, some 28 years after Keith Green released this song, it seems little has really changed. Are we "looking out for Number One" in the world's sense, or in the sense that Wayne Watson sang about? Do we care for our brothers and sisters, evidenced by our actions and not our lips?

(Amusing anecdote: I have a very distinct memory associated with this song. I was hitting the snooze alarm repeatedly on a Sunday morning, being lazy and trying not to get up and get ready to go to worship. The alarm went off one more time, with Asleep in the Light playing. It happened to be at the lines where Keith Green is crying out "How can you be so dead, when you've been so well fed, Jesus rose from the grave, and you, you can't even get out of bed." I literally jumped out of bed, adrenaline pumping, my mind racing thinking "I'm awake! I'm awake!". I made it to worship on time, and have not had problems waking up on Sunday's ever since.)

Part 1
Part 3
Part 4


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2 comments:

Brody Harper said...

Good stuff.

Anne said...

I agree with Brody - good stuff. I believe we get too comfortable.

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