Monday, March 2, 2009

A Theological Perspective, cont'd

Yesterday I blogged on the first two songs--No Line on the Horizon and Magnificent. Today I'll speak from a spiritual perspective on Moment of Surrender.

Moment of Surrender—In my opinion, one of the most soulful U2 songs ever! Whenever I hear a song like this I always remind myself that Bono writes lyrics that are true on several levels. I'm concerned in this brief commentary with the spiritual level. When we get to the lyrics related to the "stations of the cross," I think we find the TRUE point of the song. It is at this point that the song, in my mind, clearly becomes about Jesus Himself and HIS Moment of Surrender when He gave Himself up for mankind. But certainly His followers experience moments of surrender as well…though not of such magnitude, obviously. The stations of the cross involve the final hours of the Passion of Christ. This is also the point at which I have wondered is there a method to the madness of the new album being released during the first week of Lent…hmmm. Anyway, initially in church history, the stations of the cross involved “extra-biblical” elements, that is, elements not really recorded in Scripture. If I were to come up with a Biblical list it would include the following: Jesus in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus is betrayed by Judas and arrested (remember “Until the End of the World”?!), Jesus is condemned by the Sanhedrin, Jesus is denied by Peter, Jesus is judged by Pilate, Jesus is scourged and crowned with thorns, Jesus takes up his cross, Jesus is helped by Simon to carry his cross, Jesus meets the women of Jerusalem,. Jesus is crucified, Jesus promises his kingdom to the repentant/believing thief, Jesus entrusts Mary and John to each other, Jesus dies on the cross,. Jesus is laid in the tomb. And we must not forget that the story doesn’t end with death but with resurrection!! If the song is about Christ, then even the early lines make more sense…He was like one of the guys who straps himself with a bomb, a Radical! I find it interesting that Bono said as much in his interview with Assayas. Christ strapped Himself with a cross in order that people might be free…in order that the horses might run free!! And, as Jesus suffered, every other eye did look the other way…even Peter’s…until the pain stopped…when Jesus said, “It is finished.” Along the way, in His suffering, Jesus DID enter every black hole for His people. And He longed to be back with the Father, back to where He was before He became Man. And then, of course, He longed for the moment, a short time after the resurrection, when He would send His Spirit at Pentecost...when all His followers would begin experiencing their own moments of surrender...and change the world!! That's why this song also has a very personal element to it as well…for Bono and for every believer. A follower of Christ experiences many moments of surrender while walking with God, but certainly the main one is at the crisis point of salvation. It really is a moment of "vision over visibility," when a person realizes they are being called to live by faith and not by sight. At that moment, one is so concerned with the Pearl of Great Price, there is no longer a concern of what others may think, there is no longer a care of pleasing others but of simply being pleasing to the One who made you. At the moment of grace gripping the heart, it really is a matter of not believing in love but in recognizing that love is believing in you! What a song!

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