Tuesday, June 28, 2022

Tuesday's Musical Notes - "Send Me An Angel" (Scorpions)

Have you ever had a different perspective from others?  That artistic masterpiece just looks like squares and triangles to you, or that Pulitzer Prize-winning author makes very little sense to you.  Perhaps you scratch your head when that film wins an Academy Award, or for that matter, you don't even know any of the films nominated!

Or say, for example, you think that all rock bands have at least 1 ballad in them that can be a hit, while other folks hold to the genre stereotype that headbangers are just that, bands that can only produce screaming guitar and quacking drum, rock.  In the annals of history and your humble blogger's opinion, your perspective would be proven correct time and again.  Especially when it comes to those rock bands who have a bit of a harder edge, but show their actual musical prowess and skills by occasionally not rocking you like a hurricane.    Case in point...

The 1975 single "In Trance" would be the first action the world would have from the German band Scorpions. (that's 47 years ago for those keeping track).  Their first single to chart in the US was, 1982's "No One Like You", peaking at #65.  (What?!!  surely that song went higher...oh and yeah...that one WAS 40 years ago...).  Including today's feature song, which peaked at #44, Scorpions only had 6 top 100 singles.  One of those was the band's biggest hit,  the #4 smash, "Winds Of Change" (oddly enough, ANOTHER ballad), from the same album as "Send Me An Angel".  

From some perspectives, Scorpion's lack of chart success would deem them as a band that never made it.  The reality is, however, that this band is one of a few bands from the '60s (yup, the band formed in 1965, you do the math...) that continues to tour and make records (2022's Rock Believer being their most recent release) with 3 of their members being in the band for over 40 years.  Founder Rudolf Schenker (rhythm guitar, backing vocals)(1965), Klaus Meine (lead vocals)(1969), and Matthias Jabs (lead guitar, backing vocals)(1978) all continue to have the consistent sound that made Scorpions a powerhouse of '80s rock.  

"Send Me An Angel" would be the final cut released as a single from the band's eleventh studio album, 1990's Crazy World.  It was the follow-up single to the aforementioned #4 hit, "Winds Of Change".  With its top 100 performance, "Send Me An Angel" solidified itself as one of the signature tracks from the album.  The 1994 Black Sabbath album, Cross Purposes, features the same burning angel on its cover as the Scorpion's "Send Me An Angel" single.  To this date, neither band has commented on if the image's usage is significant or if it is just coincidental.  Perhaps it's an instance of the less the bands say, the more it gets talked about?  C'mon Rudolf...inquiring minds want to know...  Maybe it's one of those answers that can be proffered by a wise man...or perhaps a tax collector and a doctor...

Wow!  Those are some pretty miraculous passages wouldn't you say?  Even more incredible is the fact that for all practical purposes, the Jewish folks hadn't heard from God in over 400 years.  Chronologically, we find that Gabriel visits Mary and tells her what is about to happen.  Mary pondered and was amazed at the revelation.  Then after it is discovered that Mary is pregnant, an angel visits Joseph to assure him that everything was happening as it was planned.  God was involved in Mary's pregnancy, and in fact, had caused her condition to fulfill prophecy (Isaiah 7:13-14 NASB/AMP/KJV/ESV).  The angel instructed Joseph that his inclination to divorce Mary was the wrong action and that it was ok for Joseph to be married to Mary. 

In the above passages, we once again see the perspectives of Matthew, the tax collector, and Luke, the physician.  If you recall, Matthew's genealogy of Jesus followed Joseph's lineage, while Luke's followed Mary's.  Matthew followed the taxpayer, while Luke followed the patient.  Once again we see these perspectives played out as Matthew tells of Joseph's angelic visit, and Luke tells of Mary's. 

While the Bible never indicates that Mary shared the story of her angelic visit with Joseph, one would imagine that upon the discovery of her being with child, some explanation would have been communicated to the betrothed.  Please don't get me wrong, Joseph isn't the bad guy here.  Imagine how you would feel if the woman to whom you were engaged came to you and said..."I'm pregnant and God is the Father..."  One would imagine a shock to the system that would challenge everything you had ever held dear, including the prophecies of the Old Testament, with which Joseph would have been familiar.  

The differences in Mary and Joseph's reactions to the news of Mary's angelic visit were also contrasted in Matthew and Luke.  Mary wondered and pondered.  Joseph resolved and evolved.  Mary wanted to do the will of God, Joseph wanted to do the "right" thing to preserve Mary.  Because of Mary's prior angelic visit she had information that Joseph didn't have or didn't believe until his heavenly visitor told him to "chill out".  (My translation...)  Their perspectives were different because of the timing of their visits.  

Have you ever had a situation where you changed your opinion as time passed?  I have.  The way I view the world at my current age is very different than how I viewed it in the 80s, the 90s, or anytime up to the present.  What is different? 

"As the years pass you by hear this voice from deep inside  It's the call of your heart
Close your eyes and you will find Passage out of the dark..."

No, I haven't had an angel visit me, but I have had God's Holy Spirit draw me to a restorative relationship with Him.  Because of that, I have different perspectives regarding the information and topics that form my worldview.  Don't get me wrong, I have had my George Bailey "God, send me an angel" moments. ("George Bailey's Prayer" - 1946 - Liberty Films production)  In retrospect, I was asking for the things in my life that were contrary to His will, to be gone and for His presence to be felt at my weak moments.  God hadn't gone anywhere.  He remained consistent.  My sin, however, had caused a straying from the pathway that caused me to become lost and desperate.

Please don't misunderstand me.  I believe there are angels.  I believe they work in a different realm than what we experience, a spiritual realm if you will.  I believe if God chose to send an angel to communicate to someone visibly or audibly, I would believe their story because the Bible tells of those kinds of interactions and I believe the Bible.  The difference is what are the actions taken after having such a visit.  Are they God-honoring or self-promoting? 

What about you, friend?  Have you ever had an experience that made you wonder and ponder?  Did you ever have an experience that caused you to resolve and evolve?  Have you ever had a moment in your life where you cried out to God 
"Send me an angel"?  God has sent someone better than any Clarence.  His name is Jesus.  He was born to Mary of our passage today and had as his earthly father the carpenter named Joseph, both of which had encounters with angels who guided their different pathways to one narrative.  A narrative we will continue to explore in the coming weeks.  

Just remember, at those times in your life when you feel like crying out, "Send Me An Angel", God has already sent Jesus and He can be the way out of your dark...He's waiting and saying "Here I Am"...

"Til Tuesday,

Loving HIM by Loving You,