Monday, March 9, 2009

Stop Helping God Across the Road Like a Little Old Lady

In U2's new album, there is a song entitled "Stand Up Comedy." Another song on the album filled with Biblically-based lyrics. Bono sings, “Out from under your beds” like scared children hearing noises in the night! Stop shaking over all the bad things in the world. Stop being led to hopelessness by what you see on the news every day! Stop thinking that there is more evil in the world than good. Stop cowering in fear! Get out from under your beds and DO SOMETHING about all that is wrong with the world. I feel that the real message of the song is this: “Church, Quit being so scared of living for Christ!” Stop being intimidated by a world that says, “Stay within the four walls of the Church.” Stop thinking that there is no strength behind a Biblical world-view and that if you engage in the world of ideas and conversation as a Christian you’re going to get trounced. God isn’t dead…He is not even old and weak! God is “The Magnificent.” So, Stand Up and be counted! I find it interesting that Bono chose the vocabulary of the old King James Version of the Bible…”C’mon YE people.” How subtle. Not! Come all ye people, stand up for God and the love of God! Bono sings, “You and I have been asleep for hours.” Rather than living as light in the darkness, rather than showing forth the love of the Father in every arena of life, true believers have been asleep. It is time to awaken the sleeping giant of the Church! It is time for the Church to stand up for love…”God is love,” as Bono reminds us in the song. We need to show forth the love of God for the poor, the homeless, the suffering, the needy. But, I must add, we must show love toward the “up-and-inners” as much as we do to the “down-and-outers.” Showing love for the poor has become rather “sexy” these days. Certainly Jesus did emphasize taking care of the poor and needy; the hungry and thirsty, naked and suffering. But we must not forget that “up-and-inners” and even religious people need to be shown the love of God as well. There were two brothers who were “prodigal” in Luke 15…one who was irreligious and rebellious and another who was religious and just as distant. We need to reach out to ALL people with the love of God. We need to stand up, as Bono says, for “hope, faith, love.” This triad is spoken of repeatedly in Scripture (1 Cor 15:13, Col. 1:4-5, 1 Thess 1:3, 1 Thess 5:8). Then the song ends with a familiar theme on NLOTH—stand up “then sit down” for Your love. There is a time to stand up. Then there is a time to sit down, to cease to speak, to cease to do anything except listen (Unknown Caller). Shush now. Let God speak. Let God lead you as to HOW you are to Stand Up for His love today as you go out into the world, “arms open wide”…as you breathe the free air! One last thought…when I first heard the song, I thought of what God must think of me as a preacher and what I say on Sunday mornings…I wonder, how often does God see it as “Stand Up Comedy?!!” Forgive me, Lord.


Becky Edwards said...

I've been looking forward to you commenting about this song. It's one of my favorites on the album. That line is quite convicting...we think our little "acts of service" are enough. Time to stand up and truly show our love for God and others. Great post. Thanks.

Gwenael Delaine said...

Bono provides some context to this song in an interview with the Observer. I think that paragraph provides a lot of food for thought... Let's not stand up for religion. Let's stand up for love (of god, of one another, of our enemies) and beware of turning good intentions into a religious war!

He says that a lot of people he most admires are non-believers. Bill Gates. Warren Buffett. "People who are prepared to spend their entire life's fortune trying to make the lives of people they don't know a lot better. These people are more Christian than the Christians. Zealotry and certainty are worrying for me. Love keeps religion from zealotry."

SOH So without love, it becomes another kind of fixed ideology?

Bono "Yeah, that's right! Anyway, there's loads of pops in there about zealotry, religious and otherwise, and you're the only person who's picked up on this in the lyrics. I mean, 'Stop helping God across the road like a little old lady.' Come on?"