Ok, full disclosure. I wanted to find a way to talk about the U2 concert in Chicago so there might be a few theological leaps here, but hear me out. As the band finished their first set last night of the amazing concert, this was the image that was on the “screen” that split the arena and hung over the stage walkway. If you look closely on the lower left side there’s a wonderful quote that just grabbed me…”When the power of love overcomes the love of power, then the world will know peace.” I had not heard that quote before but after googling it, I see that its attributed to Jimi Hendrix (although there are several other names connected to it). Its a beautiful phrase and it really connected with much of what I heard in the concert last night and about why U2’s music connects with me. There is a deeper message in much of their music that is focusing on the ways that we can move to a better world than where we are now. in their recent song, California (also played last night), the chorus repeats many times over – there’s no end to love. One of their most famous songs, Pride (In the Name of Love) speaks of the ways that many have sacrificed themselves for others in the name of love. There is so much more that I could bring into this reflection on last night, but how does this fit with what we see in this passage from Luke 7? Jesus models a deep love and compassion in several different circumstances here – the raising of the widow’s son, the healing of the servant of a non-Jew (which would have shocked Jesus’ contemporaries), and the forgiveness offered to the “sinful woman.” Within these stories is an interesting exchange between John the Baptist’s followers and Jesus where ultimately Jesus gives the answer that the dead are raised, the blind see, the lame walk, and the poor have the good news brought to them.
I was reminded in the music last night the message that underlies the Gospel…we are to be the ones who God works through to be a part of the transformation of this world into what it can be.