The Ballard of Our Time. That’s what my friend called him, and I can’t think of anyone better. Rolling Stone magazine has him at #1 in their 100 Greatest Songwriters list. I can’t say I’m a particular fan, but he has written some good and memorable songs. Blowin’ in the Wind is one that challenges our hubris, and is even more perceptive if you remember what Jesus said about the Holy Spirit: “The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going.” (John 3:8) The answer, my friend, is blowin’ in the Wind.
The first release of Bob Dylan’s Gospel Period is another song for our times. Gotta Serve Somebody didn’t get a good reception at first, John Lennon even going so far as to write a parody called Serve Yourself! We like to think we’re free, and that our freedom means we are slaves to no one, and that even when we do serve we are either paid (for doing a job we choose) or it is completely voluntary (my choice). But Dylan is asking us to look up, look wider, and see the bigger picture: Well it may be the Devil or it may be the Lord, but you’re gonna have to serve somebody.
“the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.” (Matthew 20:28)