Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Daniel's Priorities, My Priorities??

I've been reading through Daniel...what a book! What a man! Ultimately, of course, what a GOD behind the man!! Daniel 9 reveals the means of grace through which God grabbed Daniel's heart: Daniel 9:1-2--He read and understood the Scriptures. It's interesting that Daniel knew Jeremiah's words were Scripture just as Peter knew Paul's words were Scripture. If we want to experience the power of grace, we must spend time in the Word!
Daniel 9:3-19--Daniel was a man of prayer.
The Word of God and prayer--the means of grace that God uses to change our lives.
Daniel 6--Daniel was so committed to the necessity and importance of prayer that he risked his life to engage in it! How come I struggle to risk even re-arranging 30 minutes of my day to engage in it?!
May we all seek grace from God that we might be a people of the Word and prayer...hmmm, interesting that the early church sought to follow the same priorities--Acts 2:42!

Thursday, September 3, 2009

And to Love I Rhapsodize

I have had U2's song, "Window in the Skies" stuck in my head for the past couple weeks. The more I listen, the more I love it all over again! And the more I listen...the more I learn. What a song of Hope, Faith and Love (to borrow a line from U2's song, Stand Up Comedy). What a song of joy...and from that perspective I'm reminded of their song, "Magnificent." Bono has given back his voice to the One who "left a window in the skies," to sing whatever He wants him to; "Love left a window in the skies, and to Love I rhapsodize."

Bono has been struck by a Love that undoes shackles and overcomes "karma" through grace. Bono sings confidently of the Love that left an undeniable witness...a "stone" that has been removed, leaving nothing but an Empty Grave. Bono sings joyfully of the Love that removes all debts, brings hate to its knees and enables him to cry out, "I've got no shame," because the finished work of Christ on the cross has removed shame for the believer.

In response to such love, in giving back his voice to the One Who loves, Who made a window in the skies, Bono tells everyone who will listen: "to Love I rhapsodize." Bono's response to the Love that gave His Only Son, is that he will sing, rhapsodize." "Justified, til we die, you and I will magnify, The Magnificent."

I see a double meaning in the line: first, to show love in response to being loved, Bono sings/rhapsodizes. Again, from Breathe, finding the courage to love, to walk out, into the streets, arms out, with a love you can't defeat." Second, it is TO Love, To the God and Father of Jesus of Nazareth, Bono rhapsodizes.

Bono is unashamed to sing out the Gospel, singing out the truth that "to every broken heart, for every heart that cries, Love left a window in the skies." From "I'll Go Crazy:" "How can you stand next to the truth and not see it?"

Bono is struck by what Love is doing in his own life...again I'm reminded of songs from NLOTH--"every day he dies again and again he's reborn" from Breathe...this is what Love is doing in his life, and in every life willing to bend the knee and bow the heart to the Savior.

"Love makes love where love may please, the soul and its striptease..." again we are reminded of a line from Breathe where the band in his head is playing a striptease. Bono loves to poetically reveal the Gospel as that which brings us our highest delight and greatest pleasure...so much pleasure in the Gospel that it can almost be put in terms of sensuality. At God's right hand are pleasures evermore...true pleasure of soul.

"Please don't ever let me out of here." Bono is singing that he is "in the sound," the sound of amazing grace. Again, from Breathe, "I found grace inside a sound, I found grace, it's all that I found...and I can breathe; Breathe now." It's the sound he's crying for in Get On Your Boots..."Let me in the sound." Its the sound that we hear in Fez-Being Born..."let me in the sound." It's the sound of the Lamb who makes a heart as "White as Snow." "Please don't ever let me out of You." Never fear, Bono, those whom Christ justifies He also glorifies...we are secure.

We do everything to forfeit the love of God...we "hurt each other," we do "everything but murder you and I...but love left a Window in the Skies..." Nothing shall be able to separate us from the Love of God in Christ.

"Oh can't you see what love has done? Oh can't you see what love has done? Oh can't you see what love has done...and what it's doing to me?"

No wonder Bono walks out on stage during the 360 tour and says each night..."I surrender." We all have that Moment of Surrender point in time...every day.