WHO DO YOU SAY I AM? —Matthew 16:15
CLAY WALKER’s hit single “Jesus Was a Country Boy” resonated with people fed up with slick preachers driving luxury cars and church sanctuaries as big as football fields. That’s not what Jesus was all about. Like the country boy next door, Jesus modeled a grassroots faith. He was born in a barn and fished for his dinner. He hung out with lowlifes and sinners. He came not for the rich and powerful, but for the good old boys and country gals.
Drawing from his own humble beginnings, Clay explores the ways Jesus spoke to good old-fashioned country folk: Jesus knew where he came from and he knew where he was going. He knew how to treat people, but he wasn’t afraid of a fight. He knew how to have a good time, and he loved to surprise people. And, like any good country boy, he knew about heartbreak. Ultimately, Jesus came to love and show that knowing His father is as free and easy as a summer breeze on a front-porch swing. If you want to find God, then it’s time to lose religion and meet a country boy from Bethlehem.
“The pastor was perfect, polished, and painful. His three-piece suit fit him like a glove, and I recognize now that it had probably been hand-tailored by some Italian designer. He spoke in a strong, congenial voice that reminded me of a politician making a stump speech. I’m sure he was a good man and probably knew more about theology than I ever will, but he didn’t seem acquainted with the God I knew. The God who peeks out from the horizon through the golden eyes of the sun. The God who smiles when I go fishing with my daddy and catch a bigger catfish than he does. The God who asks us to love our neighbor as we love ourselves, even if that neighbor is dressed in jeans instead of a suit…. Real faith—the kind that’s connected to the love of God as our heavenly Father—starts with what’s inside. And inside, I’m as country as it gets.”
Clay Walker is a popular country music star. He made his debut in 1993 with the single “What’s It to You,” which reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Singles & Tracks charts. His first four studio albums all achieved platinum certification in the United States, and his greatest hits collection and fifth studio album were each certified gold. In addition, he has charted thirty singles on the country charts, including four more #1 hits, for a total of six. In the midst of his success, Walker went public with his diagnosis of multiple sclerosis in 1996 and founded a nonprofit foundation (Band Against MS) to fund MS research and education. The foundation has raised more than $2 million to fight MS. In 2008, he received a Humanitarian Award for his charitable efforts.
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