Why Your Pastor Wears Black

By Joel Hess

John R. Cash on why your pastor wears black.

Yeah, there is more to add to the theology here, but you can argue with Mr. Cash when you see him on that glorious day.

Well, you wonder why I always dress in black,

Why you never see bright colors on my back,

And why does my appearance seem to have a somber tone.

Well, there’s a reason for the things that I have on.

 

I wear the black for the poor and the beaten down,

Livin’ in the hopeless, hungry side of town,

I wear it for the prisoner who has long paid for his crime,

But is there because he’s a victim of the times.

 

I wear the black for those who never read,

Or listened to the words that Jesus said,

About the road to happiness through love and charity,

Why, you’d think He’s talking straight to you and me.

 

Well, we’re doin’ mighty fine, I do suppose,

In our streak of lightnin’ cars and fancy clothes,

But just so we’re reminded of the ones who are held back,

Up front there ought ‘a be a Man In Black.

 

I wear it for the sick and lonely old,

For the reckless ones whose bad trip left them cold,

I wear the black in mournin’ for the lives that could have been,

Each week we lose a hundred fine young men.

 

And, I wear it for the thousands who have died,

Believin’ that the Lord was on their side,

I wear it for another hundred thousand who have died,

Believin’ that we all were on their side.

 

Well, there’s things that never will be right I know,

And things need changin’ everywhere you go,

But ’til we start to make a move to make a few things right,

You’ll never see me wear a suit of white.

 

Ah, I’d love to wear a rainbow every day,

And tell the world that everything’s OK,

But I’ll try to carry off a little darkness on my back,

‘Till things are brighter, I’m the Man In Black.

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One thought on “Why Your Pastor Wears Black

  1. Thank you for this post, Joel. I too always admired Johnny Cash. He bore the scars of a hard life. Prison, drugs, trouble. A deep thinker and one who reflected on his own failings, Cash never made excuses for himself. He would tell it like it is. He had money and success, but the demons were always nearby to disturb his peace of mind. Oh, yea, he did know about the love of Jesus. He sought redemption. His last album of songs, and his wonderful Gospel song list let you know where his faith rested. One who depended on Grace, he talked about it freely and generously. I believe he is with the Lord now, and finally free, and the “Man in Black” is now clothed in the white garments of those who went before him.

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