I want to talk about The Love We Make.
It’s a documentary about the benefit concert Paul McCartney organized in New York after 9/11.
In it there’s this great moment where he’s talking about introducing a new song during his set. While he kind of sets up the reason for writing it and humming a few bars on camera, he makes this comment that I didn’t expect: “They can’t all be ‘Hey Jude’.” For a moment he talked about writing songs after ‘Hey Jude.’ He acknowledged the disappointment people feel when they hear a Paul McCartney song that doesn’t sound like the Beatles, like it was somehow less a Paul McCartney song.
They Can’t All Be ‘Hey Jude’
As an introduction to the Letter from Jude, I believe this little chapter gets the same treatment. It’s in the Bible, but it’s not really a Bible book. Jude is an underdog. Jude is under-read, under-preached, under-utilized, under-appreciated and under suspicion. It’s possible that there are so many references, some famous, some not so much, that we don’t really know what to do with it. At times, it reminds us of the Bible, the way that Wings kind of sounded Beatlesy. At other times, it seems like Jude belongs on a whole other record label.
But I disagree. If we take the time to listen to Jude’s voice, where he’s coming from, what’s happening and where he’s taking us, we will warm up to the fact that the second to the last word in Scripture belongs to him. It’s no less the Word, just because there’s no second chapter. Besides, if there was, do you think you could stand it.
Jude is a bloom deeply rooted in the whole of the Scriptures. It’s truly a Greatest Hits of sorts. It doesn’t matter if it’s short (25 verses). Size doesn’t matter. It’s what is in the letter that makes the difference. And there’s more in this brief sermon than in the whole of the Beatles back catalog.
The truth is…if Paul McCartney wrote it, it’s a Paul McCartney song. It deserves to be in the pantheon of great tunes the man has written. Just like, the troublesome Jude. It deserves to be where it is.
Because really, not every book can be John.