Grammy Awards 1976.
The competition for the album of the year was the hotly expected competition between the albums recorded by iconic recording legends, Paul Simon, Elton John, Janis Ian, The Eagles, and Linda Ronstadt. Even with today’s generation, some of these names still resonate and are awe-inspiring. In 1976, they were the absolute giants of the music industry, akin to contemporary artists like Taylor Swift and John Legend. When Paul Simon’s album, “Still Crazy After All These Years” was announced the winner, the crowd was elated. Paul Simon bounded onto the stage and enthusiastically thanked the many people who helped him make the album a success. Then, to the surprise of everyone, he thanked one more person.
Stevie Wonder had won album of the year in 1974, 1975, and 1977. If he had recorded an album in 1976, it is quite likely Paul Simon may not have won his Grammy. Paul Simon’s tongue in cheek comment reverberates as one of the most memorable moments in Grammy history.
What makes this moment even more special for me is I was watching the Grammys live on television when he made the comment. I exploded in laughter. Although I shared the incident with many, and it has been replayed millions of times over the last forty years, it is still very special to be an eyewitness to the actual event.
For we did not follow cleverly devised myths when we made known to you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty. For when he received honor and glory from God the Father, and the voice was borne to him by the Majestic Glory, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased,” we ourselves heard this very voice borne from heaven, for we were with him on the holy mountain.
2 Peter 1:16-18 (ESV)
In this passage from one of Peter’s letters to the believers scattered throughout the known world, Peter recounts a life-changing event that he was allowed to witness. Jesus Christ invited His disciples, Peter, John, and James to join Him on a mountaintop. There, before their eyes, Jesus was transfigured and displayed the radiant glory, splendor, and grandeur that He once had in Heaven before He came to earth as a Man. He stood before them and spoke to Moses and Elijah, and left Peter fumbling for the proper words to say, God, the Father spoke.
He was still speaking when, behold, a bright cloud overshadowed them, and a voice from the cloud said, “This is my beloved Son, with whom I am well pleased; listen to him.”
Matthew 17:5 (ESV)
As an eyewitness to the actual event, Peter was forever changed. He received the assurance that his teacher, Jesus Christ, was the Son of God and the Messiah and he openly confessed and acknowledged this. Years later, he recalled this incident in this passage cited above from one of his letters to encourage other believers. Although these other believers may not have witnessed what he was privileged to see, they could, by faith, receive the same blessings by believing in the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Peter was reassuring all of them that Jesus was crucified and resurrected after three days and now sits at the right hand of God, the Father, continually interceding for all believers who have confessed and repented of their sins and accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior.
As Jesus said to Thomas, His disciple, who would not believe His resurrection until he placed his on fingers in the Crucifixion wounds, “…Have you believed because you have seen me? Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
John 20:29 (ESV)
Some of us are fortunate to have witnessed a significant historical event, like Paul Simon’s speech at the Grammy awards, but there is no more important witness than to see the glorified Jesus Christ on this earth. While everyone living today has not seen Jesus Christ in the flesh, all believers have the assurance of His Resurrection and promises through the indwelling of the Holy Spirit. Through the supernatural intervention of God in our life, we have the conviction, like Peter, of the glorified Jesus Christ.
Love and trust the Lord; seek His will in your life.