April 8, 2020
I have always been an Eric Clapton fan. I have followed him when he was with Blind Faith, Cream and in his own solo career. What he does with playing the guitar is beyond incredible.
If you asked me to choose a favorite song from Clapton’s repertoire, without thinking I would say, “Layla” from the album, “Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs.” The way all of the instruments – the drums, keyboards, and guitars – come together makes this song the best or at least one of the best rock and roll songs ever published. Nothing, I thought, could come close to its caliber of music.
In 1992, Clapton recorded an album, “Unplugged”. On this album, with only an acoustic guitar, he played “Layla”. This version was more intimate, passionate and quiet. It allowed me to enter into why I loved the song. I was able to listen to the words and comprehend what the artist was conveying. This rendition of a personal favorite piece of music was transformed into something captures the soul.
This Holy Week, beginning with Palm Sunday, has become the same for me. I love everything that pertains to Holy Week – the traditions, the pageantry, the liturgical drama; all of us coming together in a physical space in order to connect. These things have been taken away because of the coronavirus.
But what is left is a deeper understanding of the journey Jesus takes and the path we are challenged to walk. It is not about the fanfare, no matter how we love it. It is about the intimacy God calls us to take on as we go from Garden to Grave and to the Empty Tomb.
This week, let us embrace a different and new encounter of Holy Week and Easter. Let’s not be upset on what we cannot experience. Rather, may we focus on the deeper meaning as found in the cross and in our risen Lord. The truth is: nothing can take away our God and scream in our hearts on Sunday the words, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA, ALLELUIA.
Yours in Christ,