The Sunday headline act closing Glastonbury 2022 was the rapper Kenrick Lamar, and it was a hard-hitting, confessional, and introspective performance. My preference for the evening was the Pet Shop Boys on The Other Stage, but I’ll catch up with Lamar later (even though I do struggle to appreciate rap).
He wore a crown of thorns throughout his Glastonbury headline set with blood pouring down his face during the final song, two very powerful Christians symbols of servanthood, sacrifice, and salvation. This was an immensely powerful theatrical performance unlike anything the festival has ever witnessed.
Throughout the show, he addressed themes of guilt, greed, loyalty, power, ambition and prejudice, shouldering the audience’s problems by examining his own, with dancers reflecting his internal and external struggles. He also addressed issues within society along with his own flaws, juxtaposed with his faith in Christ.
Lamar believes that “imperfection is beautiful”, and that in our rush to judgment, we often lose sight of others’ humanity.
In some ways, Lamar’s thorny and introspective songs made him a brave choice to headline Glastonbury’s main stage. But in the event he rose to the challenge, delivering a visceral and compelling set that will be talked about for weeks. Source
Seeing snippets of his performance and reading about it, the following Bible verses came to mind: This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. If we claim we have not sinned, we make him out to be a liar and his word is not in us. 1 John 1:5-10
There is so much to think about in both his performance and this Bible reading. We are all beautiful in our imperfection, we can all reflect on our lives, and we can all be better human beings. For me, my Christian faith plays a huge part in being the best I can be.
Note: For the first time since my retirement in July 2020 I failed to publish a Sunday devotional on the day itself. So, this is a Sunday devotional on a Monday, but it gave me the opportunity to share something topical. I’m OK with that.