In 2005, “The Boss” penned these immortal words about the power of fear to change your heart, and thus change you, into the very thing you fear. I especially struggle with the line, “What if what you do to survive kills the things you love.” So often, it seems, we become the sin that we claim to condemn, and justify it because of our own fear.

Bruce speaks truth when he sings about the power of fear: Even if you‘ve got God on your side, fear will “take your God filled soul, and fill it with devils and dust.”  

I got God on my side

And I’m just trying to survive

What if what you do to survive

Kills the things you love

Fear’s a powerful thing, baby

It can turn your heart black you can trust

It’ll take your God filled soul

And fill it with devils and dust


Bob Dylan – “The Times They are a-Changin’”

It’s almost as if this song could have been written this week. Dylan tells the universal story of social change and the struggle to move society from one paradigm to the next. I always play this song to my college political science classes to assure them that things do not have to stay the way they are. But it’s an even more important message for my generation. (See “Come mothers and fathers …”) We are the ones who generally hold up the movements for equality and justice because we don’t trust the new paradigm. As Dylan writes, we can’t admit that the waters around us have changed; we’re about to get drenched to the bone; and we better start swimmin’ or we’ll sink like a stone.” That could be what’s happening today!

Every single word of this masterpiece is prophetic, and gets right to the heart of the struggle for social change. I encourage you to take some time to read this very slowly, and reflect on it personally. What side are you on? 

And, of course, Dylan closes with the gospel! He tells us we are in the midst of a spiritual movement, and I love the way he uses Jesus’s words to compel us to get on board. For, “the first one now will later be last” Face it … “ … the times they are a-changin’”         

Come gather ’round, people
Wherever you roam
And admit that the waters
Around you have grown
And accept it that soon
You’ll be drenched to the bone
If your time to you is worth savin’
And you better start swimmin’
Or you’ll sink like a stone
For the times they are a-changin’

Come writers and critics
Who prophesize with your pen
And keep your eyes wide
The chance won’t come again
And don’t speak too soon
For the wheel’s still in spin
And there’s no tellin’ who
That it’s namin’
For the loser now
Will be later to win
For the times they are a-changin’

Come senators, congressmen
Please heed the call
Don’t stand in the doorway
Don’t block up the hall
For he that gets hurt
Will be he who has stalled
The battle outside ragin’
Will soon shake your windows
And rattle your walls
For the times they are a-changin’

Come mothers and fathers
Throughout the land
And don’t criticize
What you can’t understand
Your sons and your daughters
Are beyond your command
Your old road is rapidly agin’
Please get out of the new one
If you can’t lend your hand
For the times they are a-changin’

The line it is drawn
The curse it is cast
The slow one now
Will later be fast
As the present now
Will later be past
The order is rapidly fadin’
And the first one now
Will later be last
For the times they are a-changin’


Sisters & Brothers ~ Let us heed the call of our prophetic voices: Keep your hearts pure and claim the change that is happening … and let it begin with you!

Pastor Bob <><