Thursday, July 02, 2009

Elvis and MJ

I was three years old when Elvis died.
The First Pentecostal Church had a flat bed trailer that we pulled into the parking lots of department stores to set up a little worship service. They called it the Gospel Wagon.
We were having Gospel Wagon one night in the parking lot of Nichols department store in Gastonia, NC. It was the late 70’s and I was wearing polyester. At some point during the worship service, nature called and my 3-year-old bladder was filled. So, I told Mama that I had to go potty and she took me into Nichols to use the bathroom. I did my business and we started to make our way back to the parking lot. Before were able to get out of the store though, we heard the manager come over the PA to make a special announcement. “Attention shoppers, we are sad to report that Elvis Pressley has been found dead. Yes ladies and gentlemen, Elvis Pressley has been found dead. It is a sad night for all of us.” As soon as the announcement ended, a wave of emotion swept through Nichols. I was only three, but I will never, never forget it. People started running, teenage cashiers began weeping at their registers, people were buzzing everywhere but seemed lost as to what they should do. I remember really clearly my mom taking me by the hand and leading me back out to the Gospel Wagon where we just continued worshipping and having a big time there in the parking lot. For her, Elvis died but the true and living God was still the same and we were still going to worship him.
Last week, just as I walked on stage to lead worship, someone whispered to me that Michael Jackson had been found dead. I loved his music so much and remembered just how amazingly famous he had become at the peak of his career. But before I could let myself get too sad, I remembered Elvis and his passing and how my Mom reacted. The moment reminded me that we’re all fragile and confirmed once again that our God is eternal. All things of this earth are passing away but not matter what, our response to Jesus is still the same, he is worthy, because he’s overcome the grave and hell. The death of MJ is sad and tragic for sure, but where else can we turn but to the Everlasting Savior when we are confronted with the frailty of life and the brokenness of sin. Jesus is our only true and lasting hope. Christ is worthy of worship in tragedy and at the highest peak of success: All of this ends, but He never changes.