Musings From Mountains and Valleys-May 2023
Sun's up, uuh huh, looks okay The world survives into another day And i'm thinking about eternity Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me.
I had another dream about lions at the door They weren't half as frightening as they were before But i'm thinking about eternity Some kind of ecstasy got a hold on me.
And i'm wondering where the lions are... I'm wondering where the lions are... Bruce Cockburn “Wondering Where the Lions Are”
This is the first (and maybe only) Bruce Cockburn song most listeners in the US are familiar with. But this virtuoso guitar playing, Canadian singer/ songwriter for the last 50 years has been making music that merges amazing guitar licks with themes of faith, politics, human rights, and care for the environment. “If I Had A Rocket Launcher” (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N7vCww3j2-w), inspired by his eye witness account of a military attack on a refugee camp, is still my go to song when I am overwhelmed with anger at innocent suffering at the hands of the powerful and violent.
Injustice in this world was an important impetus in early Jewish-Christian thinking about what happens beyond the grave. The idea was that those who got away with extortion and murder in this life would have to stand before the ultimate judge in the age to come; conversely Jesus proclaimed:
“Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God. 21 “Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you will be filled. “Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. (Luke 6:20,21)
But there is also a very important dimension of “thinking about eternity” as a way of navigating and engaging this life with hope and courage. Jesus also taught that the “kingdom of God is among you” (Luke 17:21). There will always be “lions at the door” trampling whomever is in their way to either gain or maintain power. But the “ecstasy” of God’s grace and the presence of the living Christ can make them less frightening in the long run. The beasts may have their day, but the Ascension reminds us that God will get the final word.