Thursday, April 16, 2009

The First Time...All Over Again

What most of you do not know, is that I am trying to multiply my time on this Blog. The reason you all see so many posts related to U2 is because I'm simply copying and pasting Blogs I am posting on My main aim in these blogs is to reach out to the many young people, many who are unbelievers, on U2's web site. It's not that I don't care about you believers out there...but I need some form of consistent outreach in my life...and this gives me the opportunity. Hopefully, however, these blogs for unbelievers and U2 fans are able to speak to your believing soul as well. So, here's another of my posts:

When NLOTH was released, I starting drinking in the lyrics, trying to wring out every drop of meaning and spirituality I could find. Now I feel like an addict...but I've gone through all the songs on the new album. Then with Easter, I thought about Wake Up Dead Man and Until the End of the World...but I still need my fix, so it's time to go back into the past.

The First Time, off Zooropa, is clearly a Trinitarian song. Bono begins singing of the Holy Spirit, which, for some reason, he fairly consistently puts in terms of the female gender. I guess he does that because the Spirit is the "soul" partner and it is poetic for Bono to see his soul mate, the lover of his soul, in terms of a woman. "I have a lover, a lover like no other; She got soul, soul, soul, sweet soul; And she teach me how to sing." The Spirit IS, indeed, "soul, soul, soul, sweet soul." It is the role of the Spirit to teach us as our Helper (John 14:26). The Spirit also helps believers in their walk with God. The Spirit helps us in our weaknesses and even prays through us with groanings too deep for words (Romans 8:26).

"Shows me colours when there's none to see; Gives me hope when I can't believe, That for the first time I feel love." It is actually the Spirit's help inside the believer that enables us to feel love. In Romans 5:5, Paul writes that "God's love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us!" And in Romans 8:15, Paul writes that "you did not receive the spirit of slavery to fall back into fear, but you have received the Spirit of adoption as sons (and daughters), by whom we cry, "Abba! Father!"

The next verse, it seems to me, is clearly about the Second Person of the Trinity, Jesus Christ. "I have a brother, when I'm a brother in need; I spend my whole time running; He spends his running after me." He "RAN from heaven to earth to find me! Christ is the Eternal Son and through faith in Him, those who believe are made adopted son and daughters of God, making Christ our Brother. One of the most encouraging verses in all of Scripture is in Hebrews 2:11--Jesus, God become Man, came to earth to redeem His own, to deliver us from sin, satan and death, to set us apart and change us, and we read, "He is not ashamed to call them (us) brothers (and sisters)!"

We may be black sheep in the family at times, but Jesus is not ashamed to call us kin. We may run away, but He always runs after us. This is where the song enters into some of the parables, particularly in Luke 15 where we read about the Lost Sheep, the Lost Coin and the Lost Sons. In Luke 15 the Man, Jesus, who loses one sheep, leaves the 99 to go after the ONE that is lost UNTIL He finds it!

"I feel myself goin' down; I just call and he comes around. But for the first time I feel love." Jesus tell us clearly in John 14:13-14, and other places as well, "Ask Me for anything in My Name, and I will do it." Here is also where we can see the precursors to ATYCLB's cover art and the gate changed to J-333. This is also were we hear on NLOTH, 333 on the clock face in Unknown Caller...Jeremiah 33:3, God's license plate: "Call to me and I will answer you, and will tell you great and hidden things that you have not known."

Then, finally, we come to the Father..."My father is a rich man, he wears a rich man's cloak." In Luke 15 and the Parable of the Lost Sons, the father welcomes back the prodigal, he has the best cloak brought and put upon his son that was lost and is now found...Amazing Grace...Let me in the Sound, the sweet sound!!

He gave me the keys to his kingdom (coming), Gave me a cup of gold. Jesus said that He gives the Church the keys to the Kingdom in Matthew 16:19. Jesus also tells parables where He gives talents to His servants and asks them to be good stewards of His riches...this relates to living out a life of love and kindness in the world.

Then we come to the disturbing lines in the song...He said "I have many mansions, And there are many rooms to see." Clearly a reference to John 14:2 where Jesus says His Father has a House with many rooms. Bono then sings as the prodigal son (whether the younger rebel or the dutiful self-righteous one, we don't know) and sings "But I left by the back door, And I threw away the key...And I threw away the key."

Bono has said that this isn't true of his own faith (though in small ways it IS true of every follower of Christ from time to time). But it does present the listener with a choice: we may have walked away; or we may never have entered...but is it possible that this Triune God of Love would let me in...or let me back in? The answer is well as Biblical...Jesus says "whoever comes to Me I will never cast out." Come on home! And for the first'll feel love...or maybe you feel love for the first time...all over again!

1 comment:

Kira, James and Oakley's Big Adventure said...

Hi Bob. I am now checking both blogs. I must say you have much work to do over at and are doing a great job teaching, sharing, caring, giving much to think about and trying to keep everyone grounded (believers and non-believers). Thank you! Rosemary (a.k.a. Rosemarc)