Tuesday, November 22, 2011


The Jesus Movement of the late sixties, early seventies, specifically Jesus Hippy Music, made a significant impact on American youth. I became a Christian during that time. I was aware of the movement, but not really a part of it. There is one point at which the movement and I made direct contact. This song, "I Wish We'd All Been Ready" by Larry Norman, is the first witness that made me think. There were many Christian influences around me, friends, Vacation Bible School, and Backyard Bible Clubs. Those things must have influenced me, but I never really thought about them.

In the summer of 1971 my friend, Doug Wall, brought an album over and played this song for me. Hard to imagine lugging vinyl albums around in this mp3 age. I didn't understand the imagery or message of the song, but it stuck in my head. This did not spark my decision to seek God. I had been doing that for some time on my own. It stands out in my memory as a sign post for the knowledge that others were interested in spiritual things apart from the rigid structure of church.

"I Wish We'd All Been Ready" got loads of play in youth meetings. By 1972 it would probably have been the #1 Jesus Hippy song on MTV (Maranatha Television) had there been such a thing. This song was as ubiquitous as the One Way sign. Sadly, both have slid into the shady, half-remembered past.

Standard practice in those days was to ask everyone in the youth meeting to bow their heads and close their eyes in an attitude of prayer. Then the musician would strum a guitar and croon the words. At the end, for effect, the musician would abruptly cut the last line and go absolutely silent. The feeling was supposed to be that the Rapture had occurred in the middle of the song and you'd been left behind.

1 comment:

Eric said...

Thanks for the memories ... wait now I feel really old.