Just as we all have our favourites at Christmas, those tunes that make the season feel like the season, The Victor is one of my Easter tunes. I know you’re not supposed to jump ahead to Easter morning on Good Friday…but I can’t help it! I just want to celebrate!
Keith Green had a huge impact on me as a kid. Not only was he a brilliant songwriter, he could play the piano with a fire in his soul, and I wanted to play like that! I was still playing Mary Had a Little Lamb. Sometimes his songs were humorous, like So You Wanna Go Back to Egypt or Dear John Letter to the Devil. But most often, he boldly sang against hypocritical and complacent believers. He possessed zeal to love and serve the Lord with everything he had. He stirred my soul to want more than just to warm a pew. He was passionate about His relationship with Jesus Christ, having studied and lived multiple faiths and schools of thought in his quest to find purpose and peace in this life. Though he was far from perfect and his black & white, apostle-Paul approach sometimes created conflict within the music industry, his devotion was unquestionable. He wasn’t willing to compromise his faith in any way.
Keith Green died in a plane accident in 1983, several years before I even started to listen to his music. Though the “style” is dated (and the hair and clothes), the message is timeless. It gives me Easter joy any day of the year.
Keith’s joy is contagious and his humorous interjections (which are more prominent in the recording on his album, No Compromise, never fail to make me smile. Victory over the enemy. And when he pleads, Listen…oh listen”, I close my eyes and listen. From somewhere deep inside. I imagine the angels rejoicing on that first Easter morning and I imagine how they will rejoice on the day that Christ returns for me. My voice joins with theirs.
Do not abandon yourself to despair. We are the Easter people and Hallelujah is our song. Pope John Paul II.