There are times when it is difficult to write a sermon. One follows carefully the essayist's instructions and finds a room with a view, but the view is not always pleasant or stable. One feels ill or wonders if the view is booby trapped. One remembers a year back at this time; hopes one has reclaimed stolen financial identity and will not turn bright blue. On such Sundays it is good to think of happy songs. I can think of two.
The first is about anthropomorphized symbols of this country, the increasingly militaristic Uncle Sam and the utopian Lady Liberty, at least I believe it is. It touches upon runaway inflation and increasing costs of living that seem to devour simpler, less frantic ways of life and growing up. It suggests the past had much to recommend it over the complex problems that followed, yet it is not a sad song:
And now, if we turn our hymnals to the second selection, we find a clip divided into two parts filmed 40 years apart. It begins with Marilyn McCoo singing her special McCoo song to a very special man in her life, Billy Davis Jr. It jumps ahead near the middle to another century, this one, and one realizes love is good for people --even in these complicated times.
Yes, they are still married.
These hymns of our time serve to remind us, even though much has changed, that simple metaphors still obtain. Happiness comes and goes, as does everything, but even when good times seem to be over there is a song, an idea, a dream, a person that says --and declares truly-- "Oh no, it is now that it begins!"
Go in peace.