We have another doctor’s appointment this morning, plus grocery shopping, so I’m not able to devote any time to seeking out a new hymn–one of my old favorites will have to do for now. We learned this one in junior high school, if you can believe that.
This unusual rendition of Oh, Sinner Man takes a Caribbean spiritual, moves it to the cold waters off Scotland, adds a mandolin and a Celtic reel–and the result, at least to me, brings to life the Book of Revelation.
Take a Caribbean spiritual and move it to the Irish Sea, complete with seals and grey waters, grey skies–I don’t know why it works, but it does. Oh, Sinner Man! Where You Gonna Run To? Complete with cold water and hot mandolin.
No one’s been asking for hymns lately, and this one was in my head all day, so I’m on my own and here it is–Oh, Sinner Man: an old spiritual from the Caribbean, played here on a mandolin with the cold, island-dappled waters of Scotland for a background. And the sun, here and there, breaking through.
And the message is simple: don’t leave it till it’s too late, to seek the Lord.
Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. –Psalm 119
This hymn, Oh, Sinner Man–a Caribbean spiritual, here transplanted to northern British waters–is a warning. Don’t wait until it’s too late. Repent now, and take Christ’s hand, stretched out for our salvation.
Take a moment to think about this video. Why are there so many lighthouses?
Because they’re needed! These waters are very, very dangerous–tricky currents, barely submerged rocks with sharp teeth, and cold enough to kill you in minutes if you fall in.
God’s Word is a lighthouse. It will keep us from the rocks, it will safely guide our course and bring us home, if we humble ourselves to follow it.
If God has blessed your art, this is what you get when you take a traditional African-American spiritual, Celtic mandolin music, and video of Scotland’s offshore islands–this wonderful rendition of Oh, Sinner Man! Where You Gonna Run To?
As this hymn makes so clear, there will indeed be judgment–and there’s nowhere any sinner can go to escape it. The sure escape is through belief and trust in Jesus Christ, who has already in His own person paid the penalty for our sins. But no amount of fast talk, no amount of money, no amount of political pull will suffice us. It’s very much a Jesus Christ-or-nothing proposition.
Would you believe we used to sing this song in school? Oh, Sinner Man! Where You Gonna Run To? This old spiritual has been given a Celtic spin, backed up by the stark beauty of the northern islands–complete with strong echoes of Matthew 24, Revelation 5, and other passages of Scripture.
“Oh, sinner man, you should’a been a-prayin’…” Food for thought!