8 Dec 2006

Christmas, Peace & John Lennon

Author: Bobby Valentine | Filed under: Bobby's World, Christmas, Contemporary Ethics, John Lennon, Music, War -Peace

John Lennon

Christmas, Peace and John Lennon

Today marks the anniversary of the death of the greatest musician of the 20th century, John Lennon. Though not a believer in Jesus he did grasp, ironically, some of the import of the message of the Babe from Bethlehem. One of my favorite “secular” songs for Christmas was written by Lennon in 1971 and it reached #2 on the charts. It is stirring and I find myself singing it over and over. I think this song is just as “prophetic” now as it was when I was a little kid.

Happy Xmas (War Is Over) – John Lennon

Every warrior’s boot used in battle and every garment rolled in blood will be destined for burning, will be fuel for the fire.

For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9.6-7, NIV)

He will judge between many peoples and will settle disputes for strong nations far and wide. They will beat their swords into plowshares and their spears into pruning hooks. Nation will not take up sword against nation, nor will they train for war anymore.” (Micah 4.3, NRSV)

Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good wil [sic] towards men.” (Luke 2.14, KJV)

Bobby Valentine

27 Responses to “Christmas, Peace & John Lennon”

  1. Ben Overby Says:

    Greatest musician of the 20th century? Bobby, you’ve been in the cold too long! Ever heard of George Jones? : )

    Seriously, doesn’t Bono get a nod. Love his song that has the lyric “Heaven on earth, we need it now, sick of all of this hanging around. Sick of the sorrow, sick of the pain; sick of hearing again again . . .Peace on earth . . . “Jesus can you spare the time to through a drowning man a dime . . . ” Hear it every Christmas time, what’s it worth, Peace on earth, peace on earth, peace on earth . . .

    I’ve used it as a way of getting into my Christmas message for the last few years.

    Next thing you’re going to try to convince us of is that Star Wars was a fairly good movie.


  2. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Yep, I just might try to do it, 🙂

    Bono is a great person and U2 has awesome music. Of this there can be no doubt. I have followed their music since “War” came out. Bono I think actually has a better grasp on the mission of Jesus than some preachers do.

    But the Beatles and then John Lennon on his own, they are the greatest.

    Now who is George Jones?? 🙂

    Bobby Valentine

  3. john Says:

    Even the ones who won’t recognize the reality of Jesus and His mission long for the things that only Jesus can give. Why do you suppose that is?
    Lennon was special indeed, but he could have been used to reach a generation for Christ. He chose not to be used for his destiny. Instead he was just another great singer.
    We all are special creations for a specific destiny determined by God. Whether we reach our destiny is determined by our choice.

  4. Velcro Says:

    What a good song!

    And I think you’re wrong about the greatest musician of the 20th century.

    George Michael has got to be the greatest musician of the 20th century. Are you forgetting WHAM?

  5. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    George Michael?! That is TOO funny!!!

    I recall when Pamella and I were dating, I asked her if she had ever been to a concert. She assured me she had. She had gone to see George Michael in Orlando.

    I quickly concluded that she had NOT been to a real concert and bought tickets to go see Van Halen in St.Petersburg, then Tom Petty and finally the Stones … now she can say she has been to a concert.

    Bobby Valetine

  6. Mike Exum Says:

    Van Halen, Petty… Amen.

    Nuff said.

  7. Ancient Wanderer Says:

    John Lennon as theologian?

    I have a saying, “I don’t get my B-B-Q tips from a Vegan.” 😉


  8. Frank Bellizzi Says:

    So I guess you classify Britney Spears as a 21st-century musician?

  9. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Frank I certainly hope you are not comparing Spears to Lennon???

    Bobby Valentine

  10. Bobby Cohoon Says:

    I will give you that Lennon and the Bea’les were a good group; and I think John and Paul wrote some of the finest stuff I have ever tried to play. But, when it comes to rock, I am sorry they ain’t the STONES! I had the chance to see Jagger and the stones in DC in the early 90’s. I think Charlie Watts was already getting Social Security at that time too and they were still awesome.
    Your story of your wife seing “Wham” reminds me of being a good big brother in 1984 when my sister wanted to see Duran Duran…she’s still convinced they were a good rock and roll group!
    I even almost saw George Jones once; I was there but he was drunk and didn’t show up!
    Merry Christmas brother, and I am praying for your new move.


  11. Tim Archer Says:

    I guess if Paul can quote pagan poets, you can quote John Lennon.

    [I agree that the Lennon was a great musician. The only pop musician that I can think of that compares is Paul Simon. They both did a lot of exploration with different styles of music, different instruments, etc. They both reached a point where the music interested them more than the success.

    However, my guess that the “greatest musician of the 20th century” probably was not a rocker. Names like Bartok, Gershwin, etc. come to mind]

    Anyway, I’ll join in the prayer for peace.

  12. Laymond Says:

    How about Willie?

  13. Joel Solliday Says:

    I vote for Irving Berlin.

    I often pray for peace too, earnestly. And when a loved one has cancer, I pray for healing. But I also support an aggresive fight against the cancer, including the painful use of radiation and chemo as necessary.

    Can God heal without radiation? Yes. But there is much courage in using it in the battle against a deadly disease.

    There are few “cancers” more deadly today than Islamist terrorism and tyrany.

    With respect, count me out of the John Lennon admiration society. He dreamed of no religion, no heaven, no faith, NOTHING to fight for, no countries, no posessions, and had a vision for life that disincluded any trust in our God.

    Not my hero. Sorry.

  14. Joel Solliday Says:

    Salutations Frank and Tim, ol’ pals. Nice to see your comments on this fine blog. I will try to visit more often. All the best to you, and to all.

  15. Anonymous Says:

    Ta for your thoughts!
    Maria in the UK


  16. Velcro Says:

    Haha, Bobby. I was the same way when my wife told me she had been to see New Kids On The Block. I said, “We’ve got to get you to a real concert!”

    Van Halen would be awesome. I think Def Leppard’s coming to town with Journey next year.

  17. Danny Says:

    I gotta go with Ben on this one! Give me the Possum anytime. 🙂

    Bobby, I am a little late with the congrats on the new position. I know God has had this planned for you and you and the church there will flourish together in kingdom work.

  18. Steve Says:

    The Beatles changed the world. They started out as a talented boy band then matured, experimented and explored, and , by showing others that it was possible, inspired others to do the same. I doubt the Stones could have fluorished as they have without the Beatles creating the British invasion. Its hard to imagine that there could have been a Led Zeppelin or a U2 or a Leonard Skynrd if the Beatles had never been. Almost no pop musician or group since about 1966 has been unaffected by them in a primary or secondary way. I was 13 when they landed in NY for their initial concert and so, having lived from this period to the present, I think I know whereof I speak.

    Who knows what direction John would have moved had he lived. I submit he would have continued to change, and possibly for the better.

    Thanks for the memory.

  19. Wade Tannehill Says:

    I had to laugh when I read about the wives who had been to George Michael and New Kids on the Block. When I met Gretchen, I had been to see Ted Nugent, Molly Hatchet, Bad Company, etc. She had been to see Air Supply.

  20. Royce Ogle Says:

    I didn’t know the Lennon sisters had a brother. I don’t guess he was good enough to be on the Lawrence Welk show.

    One of the first things we put in our trailer was our big picture of George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Its over the couch in the living room.

    Anyone who doesn’t get all teary-eyed listening to “He Stopped Loving Her Today” is unAmerican! When they played that at my sisters divorce party last month there wasn’t a dry eye in the service station.

    You are a good preacher Bobby but you don’t know beans about music.

    Merry Christmas,
    Royce Ogle

  21. Mike Exum Says:


    That was classic man. I gotta quote that…

    I don’t have a dry eye just laughing so hard.

    Many blessings…

  22. Wade Tannehill Says:

    My last comment even gets better. My wife reminded me at lunch that Air Supply was not the only concert she had been to when she met me. She had also been to see Captain and Tenille and the Osmonds. I told you it got better.

  23. Wade Tannehill Says:

    My last comment even gets better. My wife reminded me at lunch that Air Supply was not the only concert she had been to when she met me. She had also been to see Captain and Tenille and the Osmonds. I told you it got better.

  24. Velcro Says:

    Wade, that’s hilarious. Yeah, my wife also reminded me last night that she has been to see Cher and Simon & Garfunkel. I replied, “Those aren’t concerts!”

    This was fun!

  25. Mike Exum Says:


    Last night I started reading the OT relational theology book you recommended a few weeks ago. Ch 1 is already grabbing my interest. However, it would really be good to be in a discussion group or something to help digest it. I do not have access to such at this point. Would you be interested in some email exchange in regard to this reading? If so, contact me through my blog profile via email and we are off. If not, I will search for another discussant.

    Many blessings…

  26. Stoned-Campbell Disciple Says:

    Mike I would be willing to do that with you. But I cannot do that until probably the second week of January.

    I am neck deep in a move and will be out of Milwaukee by Jan 2 and moving into Tucson by Jan 6.

    I am also busily engaged in research and writing for a book project that is supposed to be done by summer and released in September.

    I am using some of Freitheim’s material though. He is a very insightful reader of the Hebrew Bible.

    Bobby Valentine

  27. Mike Exum Says:


    Sorry I did not respond to your message yesterday…

    That will be fine. Totally understandable. Let me know when you are available.

    Happy moving & Many blessings…

    AZ is nice! this time of year especially

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