LENT DEVOTIONAL 2015 – 40 DAYS OF CLASSIC ROCK – #19 – “Hotel California” – The Eagles
by Pastor Kyle Durbin, Centenary UMC
In the mid-1970’s, American FM-radio transitioned form a progressive rock format to what has become known as Album Oriented Radio. One of the most famous songs, as result of this shift, was the Eagles 1977, “Hotel California,” off the album of the same name. According to Don Henley in a 2013 documentary, the song is about “a journey from innocence to experience…that’s all.”
With lines like, “She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys she calls friends
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat,” many have concluded that the song was about nothing more than a brothel, though the insistence of the Eagles that the song is about the seductions of LA nightlife is probably closer to the truth. Even still, the stigma the song received from some communities based on its perception is interesting, considering Jesus own’ family tree is filled with animated characters, including Rahab, a prostitute who helped the ancient Israelites capture the city of Jericho. The author of Hebrews in 33:11 commends her faith, saying, “By faith Rahab the prostitute wasn’t killed with the disobedient because she welcomed the spies in peace,” while James, the brother of Jesus, commends her good works, stating, “In the same way, wasn’t Rahab the prostitute shown to be righteous when she received the messengers as her guests and then sent them on by another road?”
Redeeming Lord, remind us to never judges books by their covers or people by the lot they were dealt in life. We praise you for the redemption experienced by Rahab, the redemption available for every resident of the Hotel California, whatever “hotel” that may be, and the redemption that is possible for every one of us. Amen.