Today we welcome Elvis (aka Gavin Chatelier) to our 5:30pm service for an Elvis gospel event. We’re grateful for Gavin fitting us in during the Elvis festival and we especially welcome any visitors amongst us – we’re sure you are in for a special treat.
Whatever you think of Elvis’ music, you cannot deny he was (and still is) a phenomenon. He had talent, he had looks, he – or his minders – knew how to sell a product. And people bought it in droves, such that long after his death he still gathers the crowds. You could truly say he started a following that still continues today.
I find it fascinating to consider his popularity in the light of the way Jesus developed the following that is Christianity. We’re not told of Jesus’ singing ability, and we’re not told much about his looks or talent. but if Isaiah 53:3 is anything to go by he was most likely an ordinary looking Jewish man. What’s more, Jesus’ strategies for getting his message out certainly didn’t follow the modern playbook. He told people they needed to deny themselves if they wanted to follow him, and when they wanted to make him king, he would not allow it.
Was this some kind of negative psychology? Why did people follow Jesus when he made it so hard for them? I suggest the only reason people gave themselves to the hard road Jesus pointed them to is because of the overwhelming evidence of his claims to be God, not least of which was his resurrection from the dead.
They call Elvis ‘the King’, some even call him ‘God’, although I think Elvis would eschew that title. Jesus, on the other hand, was comfortable for his followers to see him as such (Matthew 14:33). I think Elvis would agree, if his gospel songs are anything to go by. Enjoy the night.

Ray Robinson

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