Bono – Praying @ Breakfast

kinnon —  February 6, 2006 — 6 Comments

Bono’s remarks from his homily at the National Prayer Breakfast last week are worth reading. Take the time to go here.

I mean, God may well be with us in our mansions on the hill…  I hope so.  He may well be with us as in all manner of controversial stuff… maybe, maybe not…  But the one thing we can all agree, all faiths and ideologies, is that God is with the vulnerable and poor.

God is in the slums, in the cardboard boxes where the poor play house… God is in the silence of a mother who has infected her child with a virus that will end both their lives… God is in the cries heard under the rubble of war… God is in the debris of wasted opportunity and lives, and God is with us if we are with them.  “If you remove the yolk from your midst, the pointing of the finger and speaking wickedness, and if you give yourself to the hungry and satisfy the desire of the afflicted, then your light will rise in darkness and your gloom with become like midday and the Lord will continually guide you and satisfy your desire in scorched places”

It’s not a coincidence that in the Scriptures, poverty is mentioned more than 2,100 times.  It’s not an accident.  That’s a lot of air time, 2,100 mentions.  [You know, the only time Christ is judgmental is on the subject of the poor.]   ‘As you have done it unto the least of these my brethren, you have done it unto me.’  (Matthew 25:40).   As I say, good news to the poor.

Please read the whole thing – and echo my hearty "Amen!"

[HT: Thunderstruck]

UPDATE: My friend, Ed Brenegar, who comments below has a very good response to Bono’s homily.

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A television editor, writer & director since 1978. A Christian since 1982. More than a little frustrated with the Church in the West since late in the last millennium.

6 responses to Bono – Praying @ Breakfast

  1. Hey Bill, you beat me to it.

    I heard this live on radio. I think Bono’s an even better orator than singer, and that says a lot in my opinion. The guy is simply profound. One of his main points is profoundly simple: We tithe within our country very generously, but the budget of our corporate family (USA) mostly stays within our home. He’s calling us to increase, by 1%, our ‘tithe’ to countries less fortunate… especially Africa.

    I have a hard time arguing with his message.

  2. I was kind of surprised by how good it was. I don’t know why – I guess we’re just so used to hearing Bono speak in sound bites. Did you hear that the “wise man” he quotes in his speech is Hybels? I wasn’t sure I should mention it here in case it made you like the speech less, but I’m as proud as I would be if Bono was quoting my own uncle.

    Dustin, I’ve seen a lot of blogs talking about the speech but very few bringing up Bono’s call for a 1% tithe…it will be interesting to see where that goes from here.

  3. He’s not a theologian either. Is there a pattern here?

  4. Thanks for the link.
    Let me take this one step beyond what I said at my site. There is a chronic conflict in the contemporary church today that both wants to maintain its purity and be at the work of justice. I am not a pacifist. I understand the theological/biblical rationale for it. But I don’t necessarily believe that there is a one-to-one correspondence between what Jesus did and what the church does, or more specifically what nation-states do. There is an isolationist strain emerging in much contemporary theology based on Augustine’s two-city metaphor. Again, I can appreciate the difference between the city of God and the city of man. But I don’t believe we are to be the church in some hermetically sealed way. We are the church in the world. And all these attempts to try to be in the world and not of the world are ultimately self-defeating. It may be heretical, but I believe we should embrace the secular world. I’m not saying we should become secularist. I am saying we should see the secular world as a part of God’s creation. For Christians to become engaged in government, in politics, in the entertainment industry, in the military, in any non-church field, is not to choose the secular over the sacred. It is to be the church in the world as it is. Hidden behind the curtains of the secular realm are the remnants of the goodness of God that he endowed in his creation.
    What this means is that I may have to get my hands messy, if I’m going to be in the world and live a life of faith. If the grace of God is what it is, then it is greater than this world. And pushing the church into an isolationist stance results in a delusion, that we can be better people of God apart from the world than in it. The world is a messy place. This wedge driven between the church and the world fosters a dualistic spiritual mindset that makes it difficult to fully appreciate the height, depth and width of the love of God in Jesus Christ.
    So, when I say that for justice to be realized in Africa, that it will require a change in the politics of Africa, I mean that Christians will have to get their hands dirty in the dirty business of regime change. And to do so is not because it means we are powerful people, and we luxuriate in our powerfulness. We become engaged in the messiness of the secular world because we are servants of God and God’s servants to the poor. That is the stance that I believe Bono is pushing us toward, and I believe was the stance that made it possible for Jesus to accept the betrayal of his disciples, to accept the humiliation of the cross, to accept the severing of his relationship with his heavenly Father, to accept the indignity of it all. If God is great, then God is greater than the crap, the mess, the sordidness of our world. It is only our fallenness that keeps pushing us to either to the isolation of a purified church or to the abandonment of our God-given humanity by embracing the secular culture as an answer to the question of life.
    What keeps me recognizing this were a scattering of people I met in my younger days who had lived most of their lives as missionaries in third world countries. What amazed me about their lives were the seamless integration of the sacred and the secular world. They saw God in the midst of the secular. He was always there, every present, providing them spiritual and physical resources that were inexplicable. Unheralded, yet the spiritual vanguard of the church in the world.


Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. The Presbyterian Polis - Connecting Churches to Churches - February 7, 2006

    Bono Speaks

    Last week Bono spoke to the National Prayer Breakfast. Here’s the text of his speech. Read it, all of it. It is an important statement about how we are to care for the world’s poor. It is a message worth

  2. The Presbyterian Polis - Connecting Churches to Churches - February 7, 2006

    Getting our hands messy

    I wrote the following as a comment at Bill Kinnon’s Acheivable Ends posting on Bono’s National Prayer Breakfast speech. It is a continuation of the thought I had in my post. The comment follows: Let me take this one step

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