Daily Word of Grace # 54 (May 29, 2020)

Following his conversion to Christianity in 1979 recent Nobel laureate Bob Dylan released three overtly Christian albums: Slow Train Coming (1979), Saved (1980) and Shot of Love (1981).  There are some often overlooked gems on these albums, including the final track on Slow Train Coming, a gorgeous ballad called “When He Returns” that puts things in perspective in light of the future Second Coming of Christ.  The final verse is a call to surrender to the grace of God without pretension: “Surrender your crown on this blood stained ground, take off your mask.  He sees your deeds, He knows your needs even before you ask.  How long can you falsify and deny what is real?  How long can you hate yourself for the weakness you conceal?  Of every earthly plan that be known to man, He is unconcerned.  He’s got plans of His own to set up His throne when He returns.”  That verse kills me (in a good way).  How often do we leave our masks on, even with God?  How often do deny what we know is real?  How often do we hate ourselves for the weaknesses we conceal (though we cannot conceal anything from God).  In response to the love of God expressed in Jesus’ death on the cross (John 3:16) we can indeed surrender our crown on that “blood stained ground” beneath that cross, and we can take off our mask.  And in spite of what may or may not happen with all our earthly plans, God’s plans to establish the Kingdom of God, an eternal kingdom of unconditional love, remain fixed, and will come to full fruition “when He returns.”

Love and Prayers,