OK, so there was Glastonbury image

OK, so there was Glastonbury

After the last couple of years there is an even greater thirst for the presence and participation and peace that Glastonbury offers than when I wrote about the festival eight years ago.

Of course, this year one of the dominant themes was various artists protesting the US Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe vs Wade, from poor Billie Eilish with her understanding of sexuality so corrupted by pornography, to BDSM-undressed Megan Thee Stallion’s fury, to Kendrick Lamar’s repeated, “Godspeed for women’s rights. They judge you, they judge Christ.” (Because, obviously, Jesus’ idea of female emancipation is that women have the right to kill their babies.)

Much more could be said.

That aside, a key feature of Glastonbury this year, as with every year it happens, was nostalgia, to which “one day a year like this will see me right” is still the theme song. The pinnacle of this was the apparently immortal Paul McCartney delivering the most extraordinary show. That the 80-year-old McCartney was also able to wheel on Dave Grohl (53) and Bruce Springsteen (72) only amplified this nostalgia-fest.

What must it be to be Paul McCartney? It is hard to imagine what it must be like to have been so globally famous and culturally significant for longer than most people alive have been alive. The sense of discombobulation this can produce was heightened by the backdrop images of the Beatles and the virtual duet with John Lennon. Altogether all extraordinary.

Of all the highlights of that superlative performance the one that most stood out for me was the crowd participation in singing “na na na na na na naaaaa…, Hey Jude.” Not the most profound lyric, but a moment (or rather, minutes) that summed up that human need for presence and participation and peace. It felt like worship. And that was reinforced when McCartney, in the kind of non-PC move that probably only an octogenarian former Beatle could get away with, invited first the men to sing and then the “ladies” before everyone joined together in full crescendo. In that moment of sex-segregated song the complementarity and difference of male and female was made audibly crystal clear.

So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.

What is the chief end of man? Man’s chief end is to glorify God, and to enjoy Him for ever.

So there was Glastonbury. So much confusion and distortion. So many glimpses of the human race’s need of God.


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