Jesus and W.C. Handy

2009logo I love attending the W.C. Handy Blues Festival here in Henderson KY.  There is something about the mournful music of the Blues that resonates with my soul.  The Blues were born of hardship and despair. In his autobiography, the father of the blues, W.C. Handy said, “I realized that the things I had seen and heard could be set down in a kind of music characteristic of my race. I learned to appreciate the music of my people…then the blues were born, because from that day on, I started thinking about putting my own experiences down in that particular kind of music.”

Though the Blues, as a genre of music, had not yet been conceived, I am sure that Jesus’ disciples were “singing the blues” in their souls after his crucifixion. Many of them had left their livelihoods and given up their jobs to follow this man who they thought would lead them to greatness. But now, their leader suffered a “Blues” type of death and even had to use a borrowed tomb for his burial. After his crucifixion all the hope his disciples had invested in him was gone. They not only lost a friend, but also the hope that God’s kingdom would finally be established.

But then something happened that was atypical of a Blues Song—a miraculous resurrection. He began appearing to his followers and the hope which they had so recently lost was returned many times over.

A number of years ago I conducted the funeral of a friend who was a very talented Blues Musician. As I closed his service I told the congregation, “I can imagine Bob right now, sitting with Jesus, singing some songs together. Bob is probably showing Jesus a new “lick” that he just learned on his guitar…laughing, and singing, enjoying the music..” Then I said, “However, I’m afraid that Bob is going to have to learn a new genre of music…cause there ain’t no blues in heaven.”

The same is true here on earth if you know that Jesus lives. If you truly believe with all your heart that Christ was raised from the dead…that hope was restored, and through that event you have purpose for your life you can’t sing the blues anymore. Indeed, the very purpose of Christ coming to earth was to turn our blues into hallelujahs.

Pastor Tim Hobbs

(This is a reprint from what was printed in the Henderson KY Gleaner on June 27, 2009 and also appeared in the Community Baptist Church Worship folder June 28, 2009)

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.