The Wreck of Ol’ 97. What a great old song! It’s a great story. Google it if you have the time. It’s about a railroad disaster back in the day. I first heard the song on the Live from Folsom Prison album by Johnny Cash.
There are countless other versions, but I wore that record out on my ol’ record player when I was 8 years old. I played it over and over again yes, like a broken record. Drove my parents crazy, I’m sure. I knew every word, every lick, and I could imitate every little aside.
I finally got to see the legend and the lovely June Carter Cash together in the 90’s at Irving Plaza. Could have been ’97. It’s one of my top 5 concerts in life. Icons. It was a childhood dream. I cried.
I got to thinking about it this morning because Psalm 97 came up today in the lectionary. Ol’ 97. Look past the gender references to God. See through them. See God’s power, might, and loving-kindness put to song.
Light dawns for the righteous, indeed.
There aren’t enough tears.
1 The LORD is king! Let the earth rejoice;
let the many coastlands be glad!
2 Clouds and thick darkness are all around him;
righteousness and justice are the foundation of his throne.
3 Fire goes before him,
and consumes his adversaries on every side.
4 His lightnings light up the world;
the earth sees and trembles.
5 The mountains melt like wax before the LORD,
before the Lord of all the earth.
6 The heavens proclaim his righteousness;
and all the peoples behold his glory.
7 All worshipers of images are put to shame,
those who make their boast in worthless idols;
all gods bow down before him.
8 Zion hears and is glad,
and the towns of Judah rejoice,
because of your judgments, O God.
9 For you, O LORD, are most high over all the earth;
you are exalted far above all gods.
10 The LORD loves those who hate evil;
he guards the lives of his faithful;
he rescues them from the hand of the wicked.
11 Light dawns for the righteous,
and joy for the upright in heart.
12 Rejoice in the LORD, O you righteous,
and give thanks to his holy name!
Grace & Peace,