For Everyman – by Rev. Joe Ramsay

I thought that this week I would share a meditation through music as well as words.

For Everyman was written by Jackson Browne in 1973 at the height of the Vietnam War and the Cold War. While many counter-culture artists were proclaiming an escapist vision of checking out of “the establishment” that seemed like it was teetering on the brink of apocalypse, Jackson offered this song of hope … waiting for everyman, waiting for humanity to come to its senses and overcome the madness fuelling inequality, racism, violence, and environmental disaster (sound familiar?) This idea of humanity accounting for ourselves may be based on the 15th century morality play “The Summoning of Everyman” — long ago I heard someone say something ’bout everyman — but his lyrics are the perfect antidote to the despair some feel today when greed and power seem to trump the common good, health and democracy.

Can we, as people of faith, embody a gospel of hope and resilience? Can we, in Christ’s name hold out “that strong but gentle Father’s hand” in words of encouragement and acts of courage and compassion? I offer this cover as a tribute to the human spirit that will overcome these dark days, and to the brilliant talent of Jackson Browne.