"My granddaddy's bible, so brooding and black
Lies like a tombstone on my own daddy's back"
(from Musicians and Beer by Del Amitri)
The Good News of Jesus Christ has had bad PR for many centuries. We see it again here with these lines from Del Amitri’s new record Fatal Mistakes.
How can a book about salvation, justice, mercy, grace, love and hope have been caricatured as a brooding black tombstone.
“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him.” (John 3:16-17)
The salvation history that runs through the entire Bible is all about light and freedom and carrying an easy burden.
Some say, “Never judge a book by the cover”. Well, we all do. I don’t know who first set this Good News of the Scriptures between black leather covers. Maybe it was about protection. In those days centuries ago it perhaps didn’t matter. Maybe it was how precious books were covered.
Today though it portrays a different message as the Del Amitri lines reveal. In 2021 that black leather speaks of doom, death and judgement. The fear is that that is what we have been concentrating on in the preaching of it too. It’s handed down like a tombstone on our children’s backs.
It’s almost a blasphemy! Preaching recently on the Good news of the Kingdom of God I find it far more like a kaleidoscope of psychedelic colours. This is the story of the Light of the World.
Forgive us Justin Currie and your father and his father too.
Sadly you are not the only ones but black is a bad recommendation. Brooding should never be in the same sentence. Tombstones? No… Light shining out of empty tombs. The colours of rainbow hope and resurrection!