by Matt LeFevers
There's a saying that art is never finished, only abandoned. George Lucas disagrees with this saying. Since the debut of Star Wars in 1977, Lucas has used each change of medium (film to VHS, VHS to DVD, theatrical re-releases) to modify his trilogy, resulting in a panoply of changes over the years, some met with decidedly mixed reactions from fans. For better or worse, I feel a deep kinship with Lucas on this. If you have the resources to do it, it's difficult to resist periodically updating your work, adding new ideas as they occur to you, things you wish you had thought of the first time.
Last night, Jackie and I George-Lucased a couple of the songs on our debut worship album. The record has been out for a little over a year, but only in the last few months have we been able to really start working these songs into our church services - road-testing the material, so to speak. One of the changes we made was to add a couple of lines to one of our oldest songs, "Eternal Life".
Easter is coming up, and with it, an increased focus on the resurrection. Even those of us whose faith is marbled with a certain amount of skepticism and doubt may turn our thoughts to that moment when one of the earth's fixed, immutable laws was broken and a man returned from his tomb.
Of course we look at its story, the blood-and-sandals who/what/when/where of it, but we also look at its meaning. If there is an eternal life - if those "who sleep in the dust of the earth will awake [...and] shine like the brightness of the heavens [...] like the stars for ever and ever" (Daniel 12:2-3) then the only reason that is so is that one specific person did so first. When we sing "Eternal Life" on Easter, I wanted to acknowledge that "the resurrection of the dead comes also through a man" (1 Corinthians 15:20), that the living and then dead and then more-than-living man named Yeshua or Joshua or Jesus set a precedent.
It's one small line, but "You arose so we could follow" grounds our whole meditation on what eternal life might look like by reminding us of the one example we have of it, the One who blazed that trail for us. So, this Easter season, we retconned our song to make it better. Hopefully, unlike Greedo shooting first, our change won't make anyone upset.
Listen to "Eternal Life" below!