Now Playing…

JOHN-ELEFANTE-On-My-Way-To-The-Sun-frontToday’s post is called “Now Playing.” It has been something that I have done from time to time. The purpose is to highlight a particular CD or album that I have enjoyed.  Usually it is something that is currently playing on the airwaves, but this one was one of those Spotify discoveries.  Over the years I have enjoyed listening to what is called Progressive Rock – most notably the music of Kansas and Kerry Livgren.  In the early 80’s, Kansas found itself without a lead singer and keyboardist.  After an exhaustive search, three voices were found: Michael Gleason, Warren Ham, and John Elefante.  Elefante was ultimately the choice – interesting to note that both Gleason and Ham ended up touring with Kansas: Ham during the Vinyl Confessions tour and Gleason during the Drastic Measures tour. After the Drastic Measures tour, Kerry Livgren and Dave Hope left the band to start a new band AD.  Elefante recorded one more song for a “Best of” album with Kansas and at that point Kansas – took a break.  John and his brother Dino went on to produce many of the Petra albums in the late 80’s and early 90’s and other Christian albums and during that time did a stint with a band called Mastedon.  I’ve listened to one of his other works “Corridors” and love the song “Just Any Other Day.”

This CD was recorded three years ago…I’m a little behind the times. It kicks off with an 11 minute epic song called “This Is How the Story Goes.”  It was written during a time in John’s life when a friend was dealing with cancer.  His friend was given the news that he was “terminal.” The song starts with a nearly acapella section with these words:

And this is how the story goes
You must believe it all, my friend,
from the beginning to the end
‘Cause everyone lives forever
We just have to choose where, my friend 

I was thinking how that applies to the Bible – it’s God’s story of redemption.  From “In the beginning…” to “He who testifies to these things says, ‘Yes, I am coming soon.’ Amen. Come, Lord Jesus. The grace of the Lord Jesus be with God’s people. Amen.” the Bible is a story of the redemption of his people and that includes you and me.  

During the song, John recalls how the doctors came in and told him that he was terminal.  That means he was going to die.  In a way, that’s the way we all are — if — IF — if it wasn’t for God’s beautiful plan for redemption.  I am a believer in science and technology.  They are amazing things.  It’s amazing to be able to watch our grandson on the screen from a thousand miles away.  We have medicine that helps us live longer…Science and technology helps us…but…there’s a line in the song that goes:

Science and technology to help us numb the pain
But far beyond any science, there is one thing that I’m sure of

A Virgin had a Son
and a stone was rolled away
So how can we be terminal?
Because He lives today

Like I said, I believe in science and technology, but beyond all that – it can’t save us – it can’t redeem us.  The Good News of our faith is that Christ has come, Christ has died, Christ has risen, Christ is coming again.  It seems like I’ve repeated that quite a bit lately.  But that is what it all really comes down to.  When all is said and done – it is all about Christ’s redeeming work through the cross and the empty tomb.

The song concludes with these words:

Now the path is laid before you, don’t trust your good intention
Use the map that’s on your heart and trust in His direction
Then your legs grow weak and you feel you’re done
Fix your mind upon the Risen One

What can save your life is an illusion
’till you finally come to one conclusion
Just one conclusion

And this is how the story goes
You must believe it all, my friend,
from the beginning to the end
‘Cause everyone lives forever
We just have to choose where, my friend

‘Cause a Virgin had a Son
and the stone was rolled away
So how can we be terminal?
Because He lives today

Jesus redeemed us from the empty life – we are no longer terminal if we trust in Jesus – trust in his direction – as the song says “What can save your life is an illusion ’till you come to one conclusion.” That conclusion is that Jesus – through the power of his blood and through his resurrection from the grave – Jesus – the son of God – the perfect Lamb of God that was slain for the sins of the world — can — and will save us if we only ask and receive him.

By the way “This is How the Story Goes” features two members of Kansas – Rich Williams – guitars and David Ragsdale – violins.  It is an epic song in the vein of Kansas.  The rest of the album is good as well – featuring some straight ahead 70’s and 80’s sounding rock. Toward the end of the album there is a powerful ballad called “This Time.” I encourage you to check that one out.

This is just one of the albums that I have been listening to of late.  Blessings…

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