Return of the nostril-upshot. I wasn’t going to upload this publicly, but I couldn’t compress the video small enough to email. Obviously there’s nothing stopping the rest of you from watching this, but it’s really meant for my dad. Happy Padre’s Day, pendejo! (Lyrics at the bottom of the post.)
Please note: a big part of the reason I wasn’t going to make this public is because I poke fun at “Amazing Grace,” which I recognize is a hymn that many people love — so much so that it’s often the featured hymn at their funeral. However, while I find the story behind the words gives the hymn depth of meaning (John Newton was a slaver who converted later in life, which gave him a firsthand perspective of impossible redemption; that Christ could truly forgive any sin), the words never actually dive into the specifics of how this grace was won, let alone what “grace” refers to. Thus the folk hymn easily crosses secular lines into the “spiritual but not religious” crowd. So while the hymn has a strong Christian message for those who are Christian, it isn’t a very good teaching or witnessing tool. It’s like Esther in the 2016 “Ben-Hur” movie telling her husband to “just have faith.” Okay, sure, but faith in what? Because the “what” matters. Belief isn’t powerful on its own; detach it from reality and it’s useless.
If there is no resurrection of the dead, then not even Christ has been raised. And if Christ has not been raised, our preaching is useless and so is your faith. More than that, we are then found to be false witnesses about God, for we have testified about God that he raised Christ from the dead. But he did not raise him if in fact the dead are not raised. For if the dead are not raised, then Christ has not been raised either. And if Christ has not been raised, your faith is futile; you are still in your sins. Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost. If only for this life we have hope in Christ, we are of all people most to be pitied.
1 Corinthians 15:13-19
Uh, don’t mind the tangent. Feel free to write off my lyrics as the inside joke that they are. Also, here they are, for the hearing-impaired:
“Amazing grace,” my father cried,
“Is not the hymn to play!”
For grace implied is grace denied,*
Or so I’ve heard you say.
Because of you I cannot stand
Songs weak in theology,
And this is not the end of all the gifts in hand
My father gave to me:
Like self-awareness, judgment, wit,
A love of oldies too,
An intellect so swift, and old school-style grit,
These all came to me through you.
Thus thank you God who well designed
And built my dad this way:
Impatient, yes, but kind, the best among mankind,
So, Dad, Happy Father’s Day!
Finally, credit where credit is due: the gift of self-awareness, judgment, and intellect (plus a deep abiding fondness for the Carpenters alongside the rest of the 70’s soft rock I usually have playing in my car) were a joint effort on my mother’s part. Dad doesn’t get all the blame. (Oh, and before Mom gets insulted thinking I’m suggesting she doesn’t know how to tell a joke, the “wit” I’m referring to is the kind that leads to nicknames that are actually foreign swear words.)
*Note: actual quote is “The Gospel implied is the Gospel denied,” but that was three syllables too many for the line.