Wednesday, February 17, 2010

U2 "War"-time devotional #1: New Years Day

I was a tough convert.
John Wesley talked about being 'prolonged in the pangs of the new birth' for a few years.

Me, too.

In fact, it took three U2 albums to midwife me.

Three albums over a few years to convert me.
(not to U2, to Jesus...though folks should experience both conversions).

The first three.
So when the first single of the third album came out, it was New Birth.
In fact, it was New Years Day....almost literally:
January 1983.

When the now classic Edge-bells and keyboards rang out and through the tiny transistor radio as I was alone in the college kitchen, on late-night mop up patrol (my on-campus job and punishment from God for delaying the conversion) was over.

And it began.

Nothing has changed about the fact that everything changed that day.

Which is the point of this U2 "War"-time devotional #1.

The backstory of "New Years Day" works on a number of levels,
but my focus today is on the double-edged sword/two-edged blessing (Edge puns not intended but duly noted) of the line,

"Nothing changes on New Years Day."

It always seemed the line worked both ways, as becomes especially clear in the Kevorkian remix:

First, "I want to be with you night and day, nothing changes on New Year's Day." As in "I long to be with you today as I am in prison, that never changes." It's all good.

Then later, "Though I want to be with you might and day, nothing changes on New Year's Day." Here it's "I still want to be with you, but I still am not. That hasn't changed. And that reality stinks." Life is hard and then you die. The dead man is still dead.

Life and love would seem to always live in that wonderful and terrible, crappy and creative tension.
We are with and without Jesus. That never changes...though some days (are better than others, and..) it does. Jesus and I are reunited. All is well with the soul, no matter what day or cell it is.

Nothing changes except everything:

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