Last week, Laura and I attended the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship General Assembly in Dallas, Texas. While there were several highlights to this year’s annual gathering, there was one moment I find myself continuing to replay within.
During worship on Friday night, Jamison McGregor (Worship & Arts Pastor at University Baptist Church in Waco) sang a powerful cover of “Anthem,” by Leonard Cohen.
Take five minutes to listen.
So ring the bells that still can ring.
Forget your perfect offering.
There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
And that’s how the light gets in.
Will you sit with that image for just a moment?
There is a crack in everything.
As I listened to Jamison proclaim this mystery again and again, I found myself reflecting on all I was holding in my heart, there in worship that night.
Several of our members had been on my mind that week. Two in particular had confided in their pastor the deep burdens they were carrying, and that they were becoming weary, and concerned over their own weariness.
I held them in my heart, as Jamison sang.
I thought of Will Compton. I considered how in less than 48 hours we would step into the waters of baptism, and we along with both sides of his family and all of his brothers from No Longer Bound would give thanks for one year of sobriety, as this one whose life was cracked and broken would be raised to walk in a new way of life.
I continued to reflect, as Jamison filled the worship hall with his haunting voice.
I reflected on the irony that on the very same week the CBF gathered for our annual meeting, the SBC also gathered in Dallas—some at the very same hotel. Both groups whose shared past but unshared vision of shared life had resulted in a split, a schism, a crack.
And as his voice kept enchanting, “…there’s a crack, a crack in everything…” I felt the weight of his words.
As I worshipped, I thought of this nation I love. I thought of its ideals, its promise, its identity—and its cracks.
Our nation has cracks. There is no other way to put it when children are separated from their asylum-seeking-parents at the border and we are willing to spend any more than five seconds debating in good conscience the finer nuances of policy and parlance.
There is a crack, a crack, in everything.
No person so perfect.
No family unflawed.
No church challenge-free.
No nation fully noble.
There is indeed, a crack in everything.
But, tears filled my eyes as Jamison crooned on with an audacious claim:
“…that’s how the light gets in.”
Fact is, you and I were once called to be the light. Remember?
And the One who called us such demanded that we let our light shine in and for this love-worthy world, through all its many cracks.
That’s how the light gets in. WE are how the light gets in.
What will we do to illumine this present darkness?
Perhaps we heed the words of the Apostle Paul, in his clear and wise command from Romans 13.
“The commandments, ‘You shall not commit adultery; You shall not murder; You shall not steal; You shall not covet’; and any other commandment, are summed up in this word, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law. Besides this, you know what time it is, how it is now the moment for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we became believers; the night is far gone, the day is near. Let us then lay aside the works of darkness and put on the armor of light…”
Have I told you lately how much I love being your pastor?
Well, I do.
Rev. Dr. Shaun King
Johns Creek Baptist Church
Oh my – powerful!!!!!! I had to listen twice — Cracks in everything and that is how the light gets through — looking for this on spotify now! Want to listen and listen again.
Thank you for sharing.
God works in mysterious ways…I applaud you as you speak your heart. The song is profound, touching, and soul searching. We are but a ‘rag tag army’s, each running off in different directions…..yet the March goes on…agape!
What a meaningful take on that song, Shaun! Someone sent me your blog post and I’m so glad they did! What an encouraging word….. I also forwarded it to Jameson so he could enjoy it!