I loved Michael Jackson from the first moment I saw him on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1969. (Stop trying to figure out my age.) For you YouTube babies, it just ain't the same! That little chocolate boy from Gary, Indiana stole my heart with his angelic voice infused with blues from a time he had not lived, the dance acrobats of James Brown, the hip swivels of Jackie Wilson and the showmanship of Sammy Davis, Jr. Every little girl back in the day wanted to marry Michael Jackson. But I just knew he was mine.
For those of you who do not know, the PJ's are not the first animated television series featuring African Americans. Just two years after the assassination of Martin Luther King, Jr., I along with millions of African American children awoke early Saturday mornings to watch the Jackson Five. For the first time in history the animated images looking back at us and making us laugh looked just like us. Back then they were not called animations. They were simply cartoons! Michael and his brothers did us proud a long time ago.
Doors that African American music artists saunter through today with their entourages were doors that Michael Jackson walked through alone. He used his wealth to further AIDS research, end world hunger and donated millions of dollars toward the education of African American students. He lent his name to worthy causes ensuring their success. In spite of the alleged abuse at the hands of his father, Michael overcame it and rose to stratospheric heights of fame and fortune. Even in death, his music is topping the billboard charts. Although acquitted of child molestation, those accusations rained on his life until his last day on earth.
While Michael Jackson deserves honor for being a great musical prodigy, cultural revolutionary and humanitarian there is a thin line between the honor we give man versus the glory we give God.
While Michael Jackson deserves honor for being a great musical prodigy, cultural revolutionary and humanitarian there is a thin line between the honor we give man versus the glory we give God. This could have easily been forgotten as the Jackson motorcade rolled toward the Staples Center with thousands waiting for the doors to open that hotter than July morning. An estimated 5000 people who could not get into the service stood outside for hours. Inside the auditorium was the homegoing service of Michael Joseph Jackson – the king of pop music. The photos on the colossal plasma screens bore his image. The applause was for Michael. The tears were for Michael. All hearts and minds were focused upon Michael. On July 7, 2009 every major network covered the Michael Jackson Memorial Service in Los Angeles, California. It is said that the memorial service was viewed by over one billion people - the largest viewing in television history.
Through the years we have watched the gift that God had given Michael Jackson bring him just as much pain and scandal as it did joy and acclaim. I do not know Michael's religious beliefs at the end of his life - nor does anyone else. The Nation of Islam is claiming him. The Christians are claiming him. But more importantly who did Michael claim? There are those who have condemned Michael Jackson to hell while others have ushered him to heaven because he was so gifted. The fact is no one has gone to heaven or hell and taken the roll call. There is little doubt that Michael Jackson changed the world. But more importantly his life can teach us a valuable lesson. The loneliness that plagued Michael Jackson all of his adult life could have never been satisfied by Neverland or by the love of his fans. Only God's love could have filled the void in his life. The Good News is that the love of God is not earned by Grammys or hit records. It is freely given.
Until we all get to heaven we may never know Michael's real legacy, but to those yet living, be sure to live your life to please the Lord knowing that His love for you will never be based upon your accomplishments. God's love is unconditional.
Until we all get to heaven we may never know Michael's real legacy, but to those yet living, be sure to live your life to please the Lord knowing that His love for you will never be based upon your accomplishments. God's love is unconditional.As Michael’s grief-stricken brothers rolled his 14-carat gold-plated Promethean casket into the auditorium, pop music was not the kingdom being glorified. As instructed by his family, a local choir sang André Crouch’s “Soon and very soon, we are going to see the King...” The King of whom they sang is Jesus Christ! Friend and artist Lionel Richie sang “Jesus is Love”. It was obvious that the king of pop, though loved dearly, was not the King to whom his family sought refuge in that day.
In the benediction, Pastor Lucius Smith prayed, “Now the King of Pop must kneel before the King of Kings”. The substratum of the Christian faith is accepting and believing in the birth, death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. It is the hope of all Christians that Michael Jackson repented of his sins and accepted Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. By doing so, in ebullient worship of our Lord, the king of pop has willing removed his crown and bowed his knee to the King of kings – Jesus Christ!