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Here comes the Son!

I watched the Grammys salute to the fiftieth anniversary of the Beatles' appearance on the Ed Sullivan Show Sunday night.  Ringo looked unbelievably well and was bouncing around on stage like a man much younger than seventy-three.  Sir Paul didn't look too bad either.  Of course, John and George were missing.  The following story was told in introducing one of the songs that was performed.

Over forty years ago, a young man was going through some difficult times.  He had had a brush with the law (his fault), some health problems, and was on the outs with the people he worked with.  He found refuge in a friend and while visiting him, he wrote a song.  The young man was George Harrison and the song he wrote was, “Here Comes the Sun.”

Here are Harrison's own words about the tune:

"Here Comes the Sun" was written at the time when Apple was getting like school, where we had to go and be businessmen: 'Sign this' and 'sign that'. Anyway, it seems as if winter in England goes on forever, by the time spring comes you really deserve it. So one day I decided I was going to sag off Apple and I went over to Eric Clapton's house. The relief of not having to go see all those dopey accountants was wonderful, and I walked around the garden with one of Eric's acoustic guitars and wrote "Here Comes The Sun.”

You don’t have to be a high-profile entertainer to know what it’s like to be pounded into submission by the tedium, technicality, or just plain monotony of some things (even when they come as a consequence of our own actions).  You don’t have to have seasonal affective disorder to grow weary of cold, dark days that have no seeming end.  You don’t have to skip a day or stroll in a garden to experience the serendipity that comes from realizing our “troubles” here don’t amount to much in view of God’s glory (Romans 8:18ff).  If you have experienced any of the preceding, you can appreciate what Harrison had in his heart when he wrote the song.

But before the Beatles introduced the song, or Richie Havens did his famous rendition of it at Woodstock, or Coldplay covered it, the prophet Malachi spoke of a greater deliverance by a greater Sun:

“But for you who revere my name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall,” (4:2).

"Sun of righteousness” is a curious phrase for us.  The fact that the sun is also said to have “healing in its wings,” further boggles our literal minds.  (Well, we’re not that literal are we?  We call our computer screens “desktops” and have “wallpaper” on them).  In the same way, “sun of righteousness” simply speaks to the dazzling, life-giving righteousness/character of the Messiah (see Revelation 22:16).  Likewise, in Matthew 23:37, Jesus spoke of His desire to give the same kind of protection/security to the people of Jerusalem that a hen’s wings offered to her young.  Put the two pictures together and we have One with blazing with righteousness, yet offering life.  Put this in the context of Malachi 4 and the blazing righteousness meant judgment for the Jewish nation for their rejection of Christ (v. 1), while the believing, oppressed remnant (see 3:14ff), would experience the joy of a young calf playfully running about.  It was Malachi’s version of, “Here Comes the Sun.” 

It’s a promise for us that long, cold, lonely winters will not endure forever.  The ice will melt, the skies will clear, and the smiles will return to our faces. 

Here comes the SON!

Enjoy the song:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsv34Ng_Rik , but more than that, enjoy the Son.
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