Loving Our Enemies.
Leonard Cohen died this week.
He was 82.
Cohen had a rather storied career in music and art,
And his most famous work, perhaps,
Is the deeply moving song Hallelujah,
Which he wrote in the 1980s.
Like many monumental works of art,
Hallelujah didn’t have much initial success.
Not until John Cale did a cover of it
And then Jeff Buckley,
Today it is one of the most recognizable cover songs of all time
With more than 300 renditions recorded. And many more besides…
I’m not sure if you saw Saturday Night Live last night.
In its coda to this week,
The passing of Cohen on Monday
and the Elections they’ve been satirizing coming to fruition on Tuesday,
They chose to bypass snark and shade, which they excel at
And instead they asked Kate McKinnon to sing Hallelujah.
I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah.
Were going to miss Cohen.
This title, Hallelujah,
Which means “praise be to the Lord”
Evokes for us followers of Jesus holy week, and Easter.
Talk about an emotional week.
A recollection all the way back to Jesus’ triumphant entry into Jerusalem
Cloaks on the ground
Shouting Hosanna to Jesus as he rode by
Riding, maybe no one but he quite knew, to die…
Riding, maybe not even he knew, to rise again in this Easter world
Of undying hope and unyielding love.
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah…
Conventional wisdom, such as it is,
will tell you: if you know what’s good for you,
don’t talk about religion, or politics, with your neighbor.
Don’t do it.
Its far too risky.
You’re likely just to make them mad,
say something insensitive
assume something awful
and, before you know it, you turn that neighbor into an enemy. [Read more…]