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Monday, July 6, 2009

Sons unto Glory: The Harvest is Ripe

The Harvest is Ripe
Sons unto Glory
1976

For it became him,
for whom are all things,
and through whom are all things,
in bringing many sons unto glory,
to make the author of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
Hebrews 2:10 RV

Another recently discovered Jesus music gem has been the above album. It is not the most promising cover, I will admit, but it is a corker.

The opening second is a whispered "Praise Jesus". It is honest and really hippyish. It is a humble beginning for a great rural prog Jesus freak half an hour. Loads of organ, burning leads, funky bass work. The lead vocals are straight mid Seventies USA

The title track is a stunner. a 6 minute mainly instrumental with loads of clavinet and electric piano; very close to Todd Rundgren's Utopia (1974) album in sound. The song climaxes when the vocals kick in: "Come to Jesus; Lay your burdens down." It sounds like the most wonderful thing: relaxing, euphoric, hazy. Absolutely fantastic stuff.

The track that got me writing was "You must be born again". Not the best track, but it starts with a funky groove, with the singer talking over the top, about Jesus freaks, man, it's good news brother, and assorted hippy bits and bobs. When he says "it's good news" he is so happy, you vcan hear a hint of a laugh.

Todays 2nd reading at Morning Prayer was the section that deals with the idea of being born again:

Jesus answered,
Verily, verily,
I say unto thee,
Except a man be born of water and the Spirit,
he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh is flesh;
and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit.
Marvel not that I said unto thee,
Ye must be born anew.
The wind bloweth where it listeth,
and thou hearest the voice thereof,
but knowest not whence it cometh,
and whither it goeth:
so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
John 3:5-8 RV

I don't regard myself as "born again". There are way to many bad connotations that go with such a phrase. I did go through a huge, instantaneous conversion. This changed my life immessurably. I don't think of it as being born again, more like layers of gunk being washed away. It wasn't so much becoming new, as revealing what was there all along.

What Jesus is saying to Nicodemus is that one needs to experience such a reawakening within oneself. It is not enough to start going to church and professing the faith. One needs to filled with the Spirit; one needs to allow this to happen. This is the way to the Kingdom of Heaven; and it starts as soon as you listen to the whisper of the Spirit.

The last song on The Harvest is Ripe is all about the whisper of the Spirit. A delicate song of acoustic guitar, with gorgeous string synth washes. A gentle ending to a great album.

You can download it here: The Ancient Star Song

5 comments:

Taylor said...

Reading about your huge instant conversion is cool. Made me realise how unusal and awesome it is that you are becoming a minister. Sometimes when you are close to something that's happening it's harder to see clearly. Anyway just thought I would tell you :)

Anonymous said...

Hi,
My name is Bill Bentley and I was in Sons Unto Glory, 33 years ago.Glad you like the music.

Anonymous said...

Any info you would like about the music just send me an email at:
billjrbentley@bellsouth.net
Thanks for enjoying,
Bill

Jerry Wall said...

Hey Bill,
Jerry Wall here. First drummer for Sons unto Glory. Them where the days huh? Heard from Kent,Scott, Phil and the gang? Send me email at jerry_wall@comcast.net. Hope your still serving the Lord!

John Eubanks said...

Hello Jerry, this is John Eubanks, the keyboard player for Sons unto Glory. Hope your are doing well. Would love to hear from you. That also goes for anyone that enjoyed the music from the Harvest is Ripe album.

God Bless,

John