Bono's Sermon

I just read this transcript off of Sojourners. It gave me goosebumps. It's very long, so here are some snippets. Go to www.Sojo.net for more...

Bono's Remarks at the National Prayer Breakfast
If you're wondering what I'm doing here, at a prayer breakfast, well, so am I. I'm certainly not here as a man of the cloth, unless that cloth is leather. It's certainly not because I'm a rock star. Which leaves one possible explanation: I'm here because I've got a messianic complex.

It's odd, having a rock star here - but maybe it's odder for me than for you. You see, I avoided religious people most of my life. Maybe it had something to do with having a father who was Protestant and a mother who was Catholic in a country where the line between the two was, quite literally, a battle line. Where the line between church and state was...well, a little blurry, and hard to see.

For me, at least, religion got in the way. Seeing what religious people, in the name of God, did to my native land...and in this country, seeing God's second-hand car salesmen on the cable TV channels, offering indulgences for cash...in fact, all over the world, seeing the self-righteousness roll down like a mighty stream from certain corners of the religious establishment...

Then, in 1997, a couple of eccentric, septuagenarian British Christians went and ruined my shtick - my reproachfulness. They did it by describing the millennium, the year 2000, as a Jubilee year, as an opportunity to cancel the chronic debts of the world's poorest people. They had the audacity to renew the Lord's call - and were joined by Pope John Paul II, who, from an Irish half-Catholic's point of view, may have had a more direct line to the Almighty.

'Jubilee' - why 'Jubilee'? What was this year of Jubilee, this year of our Lord's favor? I'd always read the scriptures, even the obscure stuff. There it was in Leviticus (25:35)... 'If your brother becomes poor,' the scriptures say, 'and cannot maintain himself...you shall maintain him.... You shall not lend him your money at interest, not give him your food for profit.'

It is such an important idea, Jubilee, that Jesus begins his ministry with this. Jesus is a young man, he's met with the rabbis, impressed everyone, people are talking. The elders say, he's a clever guy, this Jesus, but he hasn't done much...yet. He hasn't spoken in public before... When he does, is first words are from Isaiah: 'The Spirit of the Lord is upon me,' he says, 'because He has anointed me to preach good news to the poor.' And Jesus proclaims the year of the Lord's favour, the year of Jubilee (Luke 4:18).

America gives less than 1% now. We're asking for an extra 1% to change the world. to transform millions of lives - but not just that and I say this to the military men now - to transform the way that they see us. 1% is national security, enlightened economic self-interest, and a better, safer world rolled into one. Sounds to me that in this town of deals and compromises, 1% is the best bargain around.

These goals - clean water for all; school for every child; medicine for the afflicted, an end to extreme and senseless poverty - these are not just any goals; they are the Millennium Development goals, which this country supports. And they are more than that. They are the Beatitudes for a globalised world.

To give 1% more is right. It's smart. And it's blessed. There is a continent - Africa - being consumed by flames. I truly believe that when the history books are written, our age will be remembered for three things: the war on terror, the digital revolution, and what we did - or did not to - to put the fire out in Africa.

History, like God, is watching what we do.

1 comment:

Harlequin said...

I don't know if you ever heard this tale but Bob Geldof and Bono both tell it

During the recording of 'Feed the World' Bono wasn't comfortable with the line 'but tonight thank God it's them, intead of you'

There was a lot of tooing-and-frowing and suddenly Bono grinned and said

'Wel, Bob, you've just written your first hymn!'
Mr G's response, in keeping with the good athiest he is, was
'F*ck off'

The line was then sung with no problem and is preobably the standout line of what is really a very average song. infact according to Midge Ure who co-wrote it with Geldof, 'it's a crap song that changed the world'

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