More Milk or More Jesus? By Eric Maurice Clark
Updated: Jan 25
One Thursday afternoon, while surfing my vinyl collection in search of mood-music, I reflexively left my thumb on Alex Bradford's album What The World Needs Now as I flipped through the albums. It’s no secret, I'm truly an Alex Bradford type of guy.
Pretty quickly, that record found its way onto my turntable. Just three minutes later, with a broom in my hand, I stood in shock. Bradford’s lyrics had snatched my attention from my housework as he bellowed "Just a little bit of Jesus goes a long way..." The words pierced my soul in the sweetest way, and in a way that felt hauntingly familiar, too. I'm standing there like, “I've heard this before…”
So I got to thinking, and in the aftermath of Bradford’s song (which demolished me in the best possible way) I recalled Erica Campbell’s debut of "A Little More Jesus." It was refreshing to find an earlier interpretation of Campbell’s contemporary message. Bradford had epitomized the messages of both songs. And the truth that more of Jesus goes a long way busted my heart wide open with joy.
Alex Bradford’s Just A Little Bit Of Jesus and Erica Campell’s A Little More Jesus are complementary expressions of the same overall message. Bradford is assertive as if he’s testifying with his lyrics: “Listen, when you get in trouble, this is what you oughta do.” That declaration strongly gives the impression that he’s been in trouble and his faith in Jesus brought him out of his muck. In Campell’s song, she openly confesses (while many hide in fear) some errs and struggles which amplify the morals instilled in her by her mother: “No my mama didn’t raise me that way.” But in her resolve, as in Bradford’s assertiveness, she realizes “Lord I need a little help today” which saves Campbell’s day. Her faith is that Jesus will lighten her laborious load. And that’s the point: more of Jesus will rescue the day.
Bradford’s song strengthened the impact of Campbell's song. It gave it deeper meaning by accentuating the substance of yesteryear’s gospel songs. They spoke out of the depths of experience. But that is not to denounce the fervor of our contemporary songs. Yet it arises the awareness that as long as there’s an interchangeable message, modish deliveries are only the vehicle in which it can absorb among new generations. Hey… a little bit more of Jesus goes a mighty long way!