Wednesday, March 25, 2009

i dont wanna talk about God...not right now, not on the sabbath

I think next time I take the sabbath elevator in Jerusalem,
instead of getting frustrated with the lack of speed and efficiency,
I will enjoy the leisurely (the whole point of sabbath) and timeless (another whole point of sabbath) ride;
get out on every floor of the hotel,
and wonder/wander around.

That might just be the main point of sabbathing.

There seems to be a significant sub-theme to U2's "No Line on the Horizon,"
something like "The whole world doesn't rest on your shoulders, so let yourself loosen up once in awhile."

That may be a message Bono embedded to himself through the characters he takes on on the album.


-"I don't want to talk about wars between nations...not right now" ("Get on Your Boots").

-"I'm a traffic cop..siren's wailing, but it's me that wants to get away" (title track)

-"I know I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight!" ("I'll Go Crazy..")

Whatsup with all this?

Doesn't the narrator of the first quote realize he is Bono..who lives to talk about wars between nations?
Doesn't the narrator of the second quote grasp that he can't bail on responsibility of a public least while on his shift?
Doesn't the singer of the third quote's chorus know that the verses of this same song are a call to "change the world"?

Maybe Bono the activist, though he is busier than ever promoting the new record, has allowed himself a sabbath from being Bono/Messiah. He's even been saying things in recent interviews that he's not focusing on Africa or world debt right now; he's just enjoying being in the band.

Those in public activism know that they can easily escape their calling under the guise of keeping it. Of course, we pastors never do this!(:
There is at least one character on "No Line," who falls into this trap: the war correspondent in Lebanon in "Cedars of Lebanon," who admits "I'm here because I don't want to go home."

Reminds of "The Wanderer" character Bono hired Johnny Cash to sing as years ago.

Many of us are "here" in ministry to avoid going home where we belong, and ministry begins.

The haunting counter-voice of the chorus goes unheeded: "Return the call to home."

We can also use the trappings and culture and busyness/business of our calling to escape the call.
And not make the call to home; even if it is collect.

The best bet to keep balance and stoke passion is not to throw ourselves into more ministry,
but into less. We need to wholly succumb to a holy waste of time.

I once met a pastor who claimed it was a sin to take a day off.
He's now found another profession where he can justify what his previous required.

Sometimes sabbatical and vacation are the same.
It's important to take a break from our job;
not from Jesus.

U2 have been talking about their follow-up CD being called "Songs of Ascent," and about pilgrimmage.
Sometimes the holiest pilgrimmage is heading to the pub for a pint.
Or if that's not spiritual enough, follow David Hansen's lead in what he calls "long wandering prayer."

The point might not be "do something secular," but to something aimless.

I can't help but notice the U2 imagery connection in this quote from Eugene Peterson:
"If that's all we do (reduce everything to a problem to be solved, and fix and figure),
we become myopic, managers and mechanics of what is immediately before us, with no peripheral vision and no horizons. We miss most of life."
-"The Unnecessary Pastor," quoted in Seamands, "Ministry in the Image of God," p. 104

That quoted is leaded with U2: Obviously, the "horizon" reference. But Bono has also suggested the album is all about "peripheral vision," and "vision over visibility."

But we don't see all that in life, or hear it in the Sacred Sound,
unless we are free-spirited enough to let our hair and guard down.
and, as Heschel has suggested, perceive "Sabbath as a Sanctuary in Time."

The need does not always necessitate the call.
At times it necessitates and legislates a sabbath slacking,
and a celebration of our useful inutility:

"the modern church simply is not cut out for the unprofitable servant role. But the question remains whether any group not in that role can claim to be the church of Jesus Christ.
-Eller on Ellul

Hmm, might as well wander around on every floor this sabbath.
I might even find what I'm not looking for.


No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!