Sunday, January 29, 2012

Bob Dylan & The Lord's Prayer

Who knew that Bob Dylan would ever come up in church, much less a sermon?

Not me.  (Although, interest piqued, I just read that Dylan became a born-again Christian in 1979.)

And yet his song, Gotta Serve Somebody, gave perfect illumination to the gospel lesson today from Mark 1: 21-28.

In these verses, the people in Capernaum are astounded at the authority Jesus has over the unclean spirits who had recognized Him as He taught in the synagogue.

Jesus "engages the forces of evil in a decisive battle," declares Fr. Parker in his sermon today.

I don't often picture Jesus in this form.  I know that He has authority.  I know that He commanded crowds of people.  I know that He spoke out against evil and all temptations, but sometimes I get so enamored with the overwhelming love and grace that He extends to me that I miss this part of why He came into the world in the first place.
photo source

Father Parker begins to recite the Lord's Prayer as illustration:

"Our Father, whose name is holy...
Your Kingdom come, Your will be done...
on earth as it is in heaven."

Jesus came to establish God's Kingdom on this earth, this earth that we know is a fallen world.  The enemy has sunk his nasty claws into the dirt of our existence and fights daily for our attention, for our allegiance, for our life.

You gotta serve somebody.

Jesus came to earth and walks with us today not to just remind us how to be, how to act, what good things there are for us to do.

He came and He walks so to equip us for this same battle so that when the forces of evil threaten to snare us, to bury us, to drown us in the sea of temptation and evil, we will prevail in His name.  There is a war going on every day.  Every day we as a people battle addiction -- addiction to alcohol, drugs, shopping, busyness, pornography, money, power.  Seems like if you  name it, we can make it a god.  Could we not, instead, become addicted to the only thing that will never betray us?  Could we become addicted to Jesus?  When He says, "Follow Me," can we drop our nets, dock our boats?  Can we respond with the entirety, the very entirety of our beings, "Yes?"


His Kingdom on this earth.
His Will, not ours.

You’re gonna have to serve somebody, yes indeed
You’re gonna have to serve somebody
Well, it may be the devil or it may be the Lord
But you’re gonna have to serve somebody
Bob Dylan

Linking with these lovelies:  Michelle @ GracefulShanda @ Pause on the PathLaura @ The Wellspring


  1. Well, I didn't know Bob Dylan was saved and I didn't know about this song so thank you so much for filling me in.....I love the verse from his song you quoted and yes we will serve somebody or something....God made us to serve; many times we just choose the wrong something to serve.....

    Isn't it amazing that Jesus would leave His comfort zone where He is king and lower Himself to a human level because He loves us so much....that's so hard to comprehend....And about the anger, He recognized what He was up against and I think we just go about the days as if there is no battle going on and therefore, we never get to the point of using His resurrection power...

    Great post....I hope you have a wonderful week ahead of you...

  2. love this! something to ponder as i head into the work week.

  3. Loving others = serving - which means not just your favorite people. That's something I'm struggling with this week - loving your neighbor, loving your neighbor, serving your neighbor:

    "The worldly man treats certain people kindly because he 'likes' them: the Christian, trying to treat every one kindly, finds himself liking more and more people as he goes on - including people he could not even have imagined himself liking at the beginning" -- C.S. Lewis

    Awesome Post to start my week with:)

  4. This is very interesting to me...we've been teaching the Lord's Prayer to our Primary SS class...thanks!

  5. I think Martin Luther said something like this: “Whatever your heart clings to and confides in, that is really your God” so what ever we serve be comes our God whether it is our addictions or something positive. I would love to response with my entire being to total surrender to God.

  6. In what seemed like a flash in the late 1970s Bob Dylan went from being one of the most open people on the planet to being one of the most closed people on the planet. He went from a life of embracing ambiguity to a life of fear and hating ambiguity.

  7. If I'm addicted to anything, may it only be Jesus!
    Love your posts as always :)

  8. A couple years ago my husband was all about Bob Dylan's Christian music. It's a shame it's not so well accepted as his other stuff.

    This is so powerful, Jen. And that song is the perfect illustration. I'll be thinking about this for a while.

  9. Thank you, Jen, for being part of God speaking to me today...reminding me to follow Him and not fear.

  10. Bob Dylan has written some of the best christian music there is.
    My hot tip for you is to purchase "Slow Train Coming", and "Saved" immediately!!
    The VERY best + Enjoy!

  11. Bob Dylan has written some of the best christian music there is.
    My hot tip for you is to purchase "Slow Train Coming", and "Saved" immediately!!
    The VERY best + Enjoy!

  12. I actually don't know anything about Bob Dylan but think I need to hear this song. It is true, we serve something and that is what masters us. We just have to make sure we serve the right ONE

  13. Great post and their are surprisingly a few rock stars who are saved -- which is so wonderful. Thanks for sharing this about Bob Dylan. Blessings!


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