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Freddie Mercury's not-so-rhetorical question


Photo of Freddie Mercury in his iconic yellow jacket taken from Wikipedia (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Freddie_Mercury). License found at https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0/


Growing up in the 1970s and 1980s, I couldn't help but become a Queen fan. Every time I turned on the radio or flipped to MTV, there they were...four long-haired, leather-studded performers led by one whose voice sung through four octaves and rose above the airwaves. Their music was different in an innovative and provocative way. Although Led Zepplin had broken the 3-minute-song mold four years earlier with "Stairway to Heaven," nothing could compare to Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody." It wasn't just long and melodic, it was thoroughly operatic. With souring vocals, guitar solos that pierced the divide between rock and orchestra, and changes in mood and tempo that would keep even the most accomplished musicians on their toes, it was a rhapsody in the truest sense. I couldn't keep my ears off of it back then, and it keeps my foot tapping even to this day.


So, it is no surprise that I went to see Hollywood's latest docu-drama on Queen. And "Bohemian Rhapsody" (the movie) didn't disappoint. I found it to be a compelling story about Freddie Mercury and Queen...one that captures both the grand successes of the band and the mercurial life of Freddie. Hollywood finally got it right. It's a wonderful combination of real life and fantasy!


But having watched the movie, one lyrical line continues to rush about the sinews of my mind. In the song "Somebody to Love," Freddie sings, "Can anybody find me...somebody to love?" For years my mind passed by the lyric with little thought. I considered it a merely rhetorical question...one to which Freddie didn't expect an answer and something that was more a statement of personal frustration than it was a genuine inquiry. However, as I consider Freddie's tumultuous paternal relationship, the struggle with his own sexuality, and the heartache he experienced when his true love, Mary, moved on in a healthy, heterosexual marriage, I cannot help but think the question was not rhetorical at all. In many ways, maybe it was even the question of his life. Is there love to be found?


But I'm compelled to take it further. I'm compelled to consider it, not just the question of one man, but maybe the question of a generation...or maybe even the question of the ages. God, is there true love out there? Is there someone to love me?


You see, one of the principal longings of the human heart is to experience love...genuine, unconditional love. Freddie wanted it, Freddie's bandmates wanted it, the poets and writers of old wanted it, everyone sitting in that theatre with me the other night wants it, you want it, and I want it. It's the common denominator of the human soul. Can anybody find me somebody to love?


As we continue in the Advent season, I want you to join me in answering that question with a resounding, "Yes!" Of course we have somebody to love and somebody who loves us! Jesus Christ came to the earth because he loves us. He died on the cross because he loves us. He gave us the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit because he loves us. And he will radically and completely enter into your day-to-day life and change you from the inside out because he loves you. Freddie's question has an answer, my friends! It is only rhetorical if we allow it to be. The story of Jesus--the "Bethlehemian Rhapsody," if you will--resolves the matter completely for all time. Jesus is the somebody to love!

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