Ringo Starr is 75. 75!! It was not the Beatles, but Peter, Paul and Mary who sang, “Where have all the flowers gone?” But I wonder if Ringo ever sings those words. “Long time passing.” And it was Paul McCartney who wrote, “Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away. Now it looks as though they’re here to stay oh, I believe in yesterday. Suddenly, I’m not half the man I used to be. There’s a shadow hanging over me. Oh, yesterday came suddenly.” 75 came suddenly.
Many of us can remember watching, on our black and white TVs, four long-haired Englishmen getting off the plane and invading America with much greater success than King George III could ever have imagined. They appeared on the Ed Sullivan show singing, “I Want to Hold Your Hand.” We hadn’t seen such excitement since Elvis appeared on Ed Sullivan’s show (only from the waist up) singing “Hound Dog.”
America’s pulpits roared the next weekend with messages about such decadence. John Lennon declared they were more popular than Jesus. Maybe at the time he was right. But we can say this. Jesus is still alive and 75 is a blink of His eye. They sang, “Imagine there’s no heaven. It’s easy if you try. No hell below us. Above us only sky. Imagine all the people living for today… Imagine there’s no countries. It isn’t hard to do. Nothing to kill or die for and no religion too. Imagine all the people living life in peace… You may say I’m a dreamer, but I’m not the only one.” How many people have been and are being slaughtered over misguided religions? I’m doubtful if God likes religions. I think instead He loves people. That is what Jesus died for. People.
Maybe they were Simon and Garfunkel’s “prophets writing on the subway walls.”