I don’t actually have a verse about Judith (in the picture above), but I should write one. I’d envisioned this with a sassy lounge jazz tune, minor key for the verses, major for the chorus (so the chorus sounds a bit like “Jesus loves me.”)
I was inspired to write it because the main thing people know and want to discuss about Bathsheba is whether she was David’s victim, seductress, or paramour; but one of the most fascinating stories about her is how she and Nathan hoodwinked the Old Man into making her son the heir to the throne. I was trying to figure out how to disrupt and refocus the narrative in the fewest words possible, and that led to this song.
Bathsheba Very pretty Know her story? Just a little bitty: Pulled some strings and she got her son Sitting on the throne; now he’s king Solomon.
Miss Naomi Was a widow Taught Miss Ruth How to use eye shadow Instructed Ruth in feminine wiles Now she’s singing lullabies to her grandchild.
Strong women, these I know For the Bible taught me so Mothers, sisters; royal, tribal Don’t you mess with the women of the Bible.
Queen Esther In her palace Had to deal With ethnic malice Saved her people from Haman’s plans Now he’s swinging from a rope tied by his own hands.
Martha and her Sister Mary Education Was primary Now they’re sittin’ at Jesus’ feet Buddy, make yourself a sandwich if you want to eat.
Listen up now brothers, sisters, We got to have some strong resisters You don’t have to take any more malarkey The day’s gonna end for the patriarchy
I don’t mean “the Gospel is a joke” in a pejorative way. I mean it in a metaphorical way:
When you hear it, you either get it or you don’t.
You can explain it and explain it and explain it and people will still not get it.
Sometimes after years of not getting it, something happens in your life that makes you say, “Oh, now I get it.” We call this feeling an epiphany.
You can tell by the quality of their laughter whether or not people get it. Some laugh along because they think they’re supposed to. Some assume that to be good, the joke must be at someone’s expense…
…but the best jokes are not told at anyone else’s expense. The best presentations of the Gospel contain no malice or contempt.
Sometimes you hear it so often you stop laughing. But maybe one day it sneaks up on you and you get it again, and you start laughing and can’t stop.
Sometimes you laugh so hard it hurts. Sometimes you laugh through your tears.
Sometimes you hear it and it’s not funny. Sometimes it’s the delivery. Other times it’s your attitude.
Something about being with other people who get it makes you laugh that much harder. Sometimes a group of you start laughing and you can’t stop, because you keep each other going. These moments of joy are when you feel most strongly that life is good, that this is a slice of heaven, and you want it to never end.
Sometimes when you try to tell it, it’s not funny. Usually it is because you are trying too hard. The best humor and the best Gospel emerges from being authentically human.
When you tell a really good joke, nobody stops you by saying, “Yeah, I’ve heard that before,” because it’s worth hearing again.