Monday, December 01, 2008

Music Video Monday: The Rebel Jesus

For the next four Music Video Mondays, I will feature a Christmas-themed song. I wanted to kick off this Christmas Edition with NSYNC's very peppy "Merry Christmas" (or is it "Happy Holidays"?), but their music video to this song are all blocked on YouTube for transporting elsewhere. So, I had to choose another song to get this series started, and what better song than Jackson Browne's "The Rebel Jesus." Someone made their own video and I have always loved this song (particularly the version on The Chieftains The Bells of Dublin album). Especially the profound lyrics. It truly hits upon the truth about Jesus versus his believers. Its a pretty strong indictment against current Christianity (as opposed to authentic Christianity).

When I was in the Navy, I first discovered the Chieftains in 1992 when the ship's store sold their cassette tape of The Bells of Dublin. I would listen to it in my office and one shipmate, who was always funny, heard "The Rebel Jesus" and was shocked. He called the song "blasphemous!" To him (and I don't know if he was kidding because he never struck me as the religious type to begin with), it was the word "rebel" that made it blasphemous. When I tried to explain what the song was about, he wouldn't hear of it and went away. Wow, I remember thinking. Some people take their Jesus seriously. Honestly, I think Jesus would totally prefer this song than all the ones that praise him constantly. For this one gets to the heart of the truth of what he's all about.


All the streets are filled with laughter and light
And the music of the season
And the merchants windows are all bright
With the faces of the children
And the families hurrying to their homes
As the sky darkens and freezes
They'll be gathering around the hearths and tales
Giving thanks for all God's graces
And the birth of the rebel Jesus

Well they call him by the Prince of Peace
And they call him by the Savior
And they pray to him upon the seas
And in every bold endeavor
As they fill his churches with their pride and gold
And their faith in him increases
But they've turned the nature that I worshipped in
From a temple to a robbers den
In the words of the rebel Jesus

We guard our world with locks and guns
And we guard our fine possessions
And once a year when Christmas comes
We give to our relations
And perhaps we give a little to the poor
If the generosity should seize us
But if any one of us should interfere
In the business of why they are poor
They get the same as the rebel Jesus

But please forgive me if I seem
To take the tone of judgement
For I've no wish to come between
This day and your enjoyment
In this life of hardship and of earthly toil
We have need for anything that frees us
So I bid you pleasure
And I bid you cheer
From a heathen and a pagan
On the side of the rebel Jesus.

1 comment:

Margie's Musings said...

Very appropriate, Nicholas.