April 15, 2014
Do you know how to sing the Blues? Lame Mango Washington of Memphis, TN wrote a humorous guide called “How to Write the Blues.” In his estimation, not everyone can sing the blues. He says that blues is not a color thing. Blues is about luck — or the lack thereof. If your first name is a southern state — like Georgia, if you’re older than dirt, if you’re blind, if you shot a man in Memphis . . . you have the right to sing the Blues. Dying in a bar fight is a Blues death; dying while having liposuction is not. You can’t sing the Blues if you have all your own teeth--no matter how old you are . . . or if you once were blind, but now you can see . . . or if when you shot that man in Memphis, it turned out to be a flesh wound. Most Blues begin “woke up this morning.” If you didn’t wake up this morning, you will have difficulty singing the blues. (Lame Mango Washington)
According to Lame Mango Washington, would you qualify as a singer of the Blues? I’m not sure I would. Last time I checked, I had all my teeth and as of today, I haven’t shot anyone in a bar. How about you? Do you qualify as a singer of the Blues? All kidding aside, even though perhaps we cannot sing the blues, I have yet to meet someone who didn’t know something of the Blues. The Blues are about the heavy loads we carry around with us — the heavy rocks that weigh us down:
— the rock of fear and anxiety
— the rock of illness
— the rock of little faith
— the rock of clouded understanding
— the rock of confusion
— the rock of disappointment...
Now by anyone’s definition, followers of Jesus can sing the Blues. Jesus gave them hope and dignity, but now he’s dead — crucified like a common criminal. Also as befitting a Blues death, Jesus was even laid in a borrowed grave. But then, everything turns upside down. When the disciples go to his tomb, they find the huge rock rolled away from the entrance and the grave empty. Even though the authorities placed guards at the tomb to guard against disciples stealing His body, the stone is rolled away. Only the grave clothes are left behind. And then Jesus begins making appearances to his followers.
Never again will they be able to sing the Blues! Think about it. You can’t sing the Blues, if you were once blind, but now you see. You can’t sing the Blues when hope is restored. You can’t sing the Blues when your first love is in your arms once more. You can sing the Blues beside the grave — but not if it’s empty. And it was empty.
Whether you are a singer of the Blues or know something of those Blues, that’s O.K. It’s O.K. because the good news of the Easter story comes at the other end of a Blues story —despair turns to hope, fear to joy, tears to laughter. Is there a rock you carry around that needs to be rolled away from your tomb this Easter Sunday? Rejoice in the good news that in God what is dead does not remain so. Thanks be to God.
—Brigitta Remole, Senior MinisterSubscribe