I was shocked to hear that David Bowie had died. I grew up listening to his music and think that I still have old vinyl copies of his singles and LPs in my attic. I believe that the cassette tapes got chucked away. They never were as robust as vinyl. These days most of my music is stored digitally. My favourite Bowie song (Quicksand) has not featured in any of the news tributes. According to iTunes I have played Quicksand twice as many times as my next favourite, Life on Mars.
The reaction to David Bowie’s untimely death has astonished me. Over half of the BBC’s evening news programme on 11 January 2015 was devoted to David Bowie. Was this really as important as a convoy of food finally reaching 400,000 starving people in a besieged Syrian city? People were filmed flocking to lay flowers at an Aladdin Sane mural close to where David Bowie was born in Brixton, London. On the other side of the Atlantic people were gathering outside the New York apartment where David Bowie lived.
People have been saying some strange things since David Bowie died. I would agree that there has been no one else like him in the pop/rock world. I would agree that he was an icon. I am not sure about some of the other things that are being said. More than one person has talked about how David Bowie changed his/her life, and about how Bowie brought honesty, freedom and inspiration to the world. Another said that David Bowie would live in our hearts forever. Really? Bowie might live on in his digital recordings on my laptop but he won’t live in my heart. That belongs to someone else.
That someone else is Jesus Christ. Like David Bowie, Jesus knew that He was going to die; not from a cruel disease, but on a cruel cross, where He hung in apparent humiliation. I would imagine that everyone in Jerusalem knew that Jesus was going to die, despite not having Facebook, Twitter, or access to the BBC or CNN. Those who didn’t know certainly knew something had happened while Jesus hung there and when He died. In Matthew 27 we are told that at around midday the sky turned dark, and stayed that way for three hours. As Jesus died the sun was darkened, and there was an earthquake that split rocks apart. The curtain in the Temple was torn in two, and graves opened. Matthew says that many of God’s people who had died came back to life. And the Roman centurion who was in charge of the execution squad exclaimed:
“This man truly was the Son of God!”
I can’t help but wonder if David Bowie knew God. It seems that he had eighteen months or so to consider meeting his maker, and to prepare for dying. What I did not know until now was that when performing at a concert in memory of Freddie Mercury back in 1992 David Bowie got down on his knees and said the Lord’s Prayer. That is how I am going to remember David Bowie.