Friday, July 3, 2009

King of Pop; King of Rock and Roll; King of Glory

I am intrigued to watch the world react when a public figure dies. With the recent unfortunate and untimely death of Michael Jackson, once again, I'm intrigued. A sadness strikes me when I think of him; of what a tragic and lonely life he seemed to live and what an early unexpected death that ceased his earthly existence.

I am not awe-struck by Michael Jackson, the person, but I do think he was a genius, musically. I readily give him credit for being a pop music icon. My sorrow is that it all went wrong somewhere and people just began to think he was strange. He lost his way somehow. Being thrust into the spotlight at a very early age couldn't have been easy and, from the reports I've seen, he wasn't nominating his father for any "father of the year" awards. Suffice it to say, I think his hurts, habits and hang-ups have been festering for a very long time. I only wish someone could have reached him and would have been there to help him; to speak some truth to him; to love him for who he was - not what he could give them or do for them.

Yes, Michael Jackson was the King of Pop....he had fame and fortune....and failure. Some of the world hailed him when he was alive...many gossiped and speculated. Yes, he had some strange behaviors and probably some very painful memories and hurts, but none of us really know what was true of him. What's hypocritical is that people distained him in life and yet praise him in death.

I'm also struck by the similarities the King of Pop had with the King of Rock and Roll, Elvis Presley. Not to mention that MJ was once married to Elvis' daughter, but there are even more striking parallels to be drawn. Both were flat out entertaining; both had early and lengthy fame; both amassed large crowds of fans and finacial fortunes; both had a darkness to their lives that seemed to torture them beyond what anyone could understand; both were rumored to medicate themselves to help extinguish their pain; both had problems with their popularity, and their lifestyles and finances suffered greatly for it....Yes, two earthly legends could not support the mantle of "KING". That's because they were only human. Unfortunately, they could not hold up under the pressure, and they left this world earlier than anyone expected, or really wanted, them to. Sad.

That brings us to the King of GLORY; the one true KING, Jesus. His fame came, mostly, after his death. And many, still, cannot believe he is the KING. Maybe its because he had no earthly fortune. He taught that your fortune is in the treasures you lay up in heaven - in other words, what you really love and care about, and for, dictates how wealthy you are. Love is intangible; money is not. Yet love will last when money is long gone. And in the world's eyes, Jesus failed, was killed on a cross, and died. BUT...we know the true story...He rose again! MJ might be able to moon walk and Elvis might be able to rock and roll like no other, BUT Jesus gets the ultimate kudos for blowing my mind...He rose from the dead! That's right, shed his grave clothes, moon walked on over to the door and rolled the rock away....that's some serious "kingly" behavior! The best part is, if I believe He is the Christ, that he died for me, and I put my trust in Him, I can have front row seats to the best concert ever, as we sing everlasting praises to him in heaven. The tickets are free just have to ask!

This week we'll watch the world flock to memorials for Michael Jackson. No doubt, they'll continue to worship him for years, just like people still do Elvis. I do know that neither of them are ever walking, alive, out of the doors of Neverland or Graceland. Yet people will continue hailing them as kings for generations to come. It's okay to pay respects to a person's life and acknowledge that they were probably the best at their trade. As far as worshipping a king, I'll just stick with the King of Glory. 2000 years and running is a pretty long time to reign and He's only just begun!