Paul McCartney: A stranger in a foreign land

Many years ago, I walked into a menswear store in Porirua and was set upon by a member of staff asking me “Did I know who the Beatles were?”

The reason she asked was, as it turned out, she and her junior assistant were having a conversation and she had mentioned The Beatles and the reaction was who?

Years later Paul McCartney was paying by cheque for a purchase and the assistant asked him for ID.

She recognized his name and responded; ooh my gran just loves you.

And there’s the story of McCartney being refused entry to a party on the night of the 2020 Grammys because the door staff didn’t recognize him.

Apart from feeling for Paul McCartney, I pondered why people no longer recognise one of the greatest music composers of modern times.

And dare I say it, I have grown older, but remember the halcyon days, when young fans screamed at the Beatles Concerts, laid siege outside of their hotels and young men grew their hair so they could look like the Fab Four.

While I lament those days it worries me that Jesus Christ is suffering the same fate.

Kids today may remember the music of The Beatles because while my generation is still around because we may talk about them or play their music.

Same thing with Jesus although I don’t believe he released a record, but the record of his life still exists.

You see if we as grandparents, and parents don’t talk about the Greatest Man whoever walked on the earth, how will our children recognize him when they find him.

Imagine someone saying to Jesus Ooh my Gran just loves you.

The thing that makes me saddest of all is when Jesus does return, how many children regardless of age at the time will turn to their parents and ask why you didn’t tell me about this guy.

Not a Beatles song but Boney M recorded the words to Psalm 137 which started with the words, “By the rivers of Babylon, there we sat down, yea, we wept
When we remembered Zion.”

That was a lament from the Jewish nation who had been taken into captivity by the Babylonians for 70 years.

They lamented what they had lost as they became strangers in a foreign land.

Like today’s generation the children of those captive grew up in a different land or time as their parents.

The boomer generation well remembers the Beatles, just as the Israelites knew of the treasured days at the Temple in Jerusalem.

As future generations grew it was up to the previous generation to teach them about God, about the temple and to teach them about the Messiah.

After 70 years of captivity in this strange land, the Jews were allowed to return to Jerusalem.

Work had begun to restore the temple in Jerusalem and when they returned there were many different emotions from people weeping, others rejoicing while some just thought meh.

You see the older people who had been in captivity for 70 years knew what the Temple meant to their people, the next generation who was born in Babylon, would only have heard of its significance from their forebears, But the children of that generation would still be young and were oblivious.

But here is the point I want to make, given New Zealand’s history is to be told, I think it’s timely we sit down with our own children and grandchildren and tell them our family history.

The onus is on you to tell your family history because it’s important they know where they came from, and the reasons your family does this or thinks that.

While this generation or the previous one doesn’t think God is all that important, I think if you search back to your grandparent’s day you will find your family’s morals and values are biblically set.

Your grandparents would have the commandments of God on their hearts and would have passed them down to you.

Deuteronomy 6:7-8 says we should impress them on our children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads.

It was important the captured generation of Israelites learned and it’s just as important for our families to know their history and about how the family at onetime served God.

Many parents of the boomer generation felt like those in Babylon and lament, how can we sing the Lord’s song in a strange land.

You know Paul McCartney was right when he wrote the words.

All my trouble seemed so far away
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay
Oh, I believe in yesterday

And yes, we need to be instructing our children about yesterday.

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