THEY KNEW WHO HE WAS
1. When Jesus came the demons cried,
oh, how they cried;
they knew they had no place to
no place to hide
They knew who he was,
they knew who he was,
yes, they knew who he was and they cried, how they cried
2. They knew he wasn't just a man,
not just a man;
they felt the power of God's
great hand, God's mighty hand.
3. No devil could withstand God's son,
God's only son;
they trembled when his time
his time had come.
4. Now Jesus lives and all is well, yes, all is well;
he rules in heaven, he rules in
heaven and hell.
1982, February 7th, at the evening student service at St. Stephen's, Pastor Kevin Schmidt preached on Mark 1:29-39 (Gospel reading for the 5th Sunday after Epiphany, Series B). Kevin had chosen the theme "They knew who he was"(Mark 1:34) for the service, and this song was written for it. When I was asked to give names to the tunes of songs for the Australian Lutheran Hymnal Supplement, this one was called KJ, Kevin's initials and the way in which people sometimes referred to him. I enjoyed working with Kevin from 1976 -80 at St. Stephen's. Musically, this started on the 12 string guitar as a folky sounding song, but I prefer to do it in a rock style, with a strong on-beat. FURTHER REFLECTIONS "Jesus healed many who were sick with all kinds of diseases, and drove out many demons. He would not let the demons say anything because they knew who he was." (Mark 1:34) Some today are fond of speaking about the power of Satan, the destructive actions of demons and devils in people's lives. I suspect that this is often an unhealthy fascination, part of the late 20th century Western fascination with evil and darkness and antiheroes. Without faith in the Divine Liberator this 'worship' of dark forces is bound to increase. Yet, even though the power of the Devil, is fearsome and awful, it is no match for the power of Jesus. The demons know this. They - early witnesses to the identity of Christ in Mark's gospel - understand who is boss: "... but Jesus does not permit the demons to speak. He does not want his witnesses to be from the side of Satan or Beelzebul, but from his new cleansed community, who know that the powers of the unclean and demonic have been defeated. Satan is a liar, and his claim to be able to retain possession of human beings is a lie. As the prince of this world, he is constantly usurping the power which belongs legitimately and solely to God the King..... In Jesus, the kingdom of God smashes the kingdoms of evil." ['Crossing The Boundaries' Rick Strelan. Lutheran Publishing House 1991] Awareness of the power of evil - especially in our own lives - is an important part of being Christian. But knowing the authority of Jesus, and being confident in it's protective cover for us, is even more vital.
2021 - Where do we go from here?
Breezin' along in my Japanese coupe, breezin' along with the windows down. The dog keeps sniffing the air - he's got an empty head but he's alright. We've got time to spare, time to get where, we don't know, and who cares?
And the days go fast and the nights go faster
Lord, where do we go from here?
Lord, where do you want me to be? (© Robin Mann 1972)
Some questions keep on coming, and this is one of them.
The pandemic has put a hold on so much, and while Australia is in a better position than many, uncertainty remains.
Two weeks ago I finished a song 'In the year that's coming'. It ends with:
May your love shine through us,
every day renew us,
keep on coming to us,
stay with us
in the coming year.