J is for Jesus

Ever since I heard U2 for the first time in high school, I’ve been a fan. I even wrote a paper about them in college (my professor marked me down because it read like a hagiography — oh well). I’ve loved and been inspired by their music; I’ve loved and been inspired by Bono’s activism. He and his bandmates have been one of the influences on my own music, as well as my theology and my faith.

Anyway, to mark the end of 2014, Bono wrote an “A to Z of 2014.” It’s a beautiful blog, touching, poignant, inspirational. My favorite is J.

J IS FOR JESUS

At this time of year some people are reminded of the poetic as well as the historic truth that is the birth of Jesus. The Christmas story has a crazy good plot with an even crazier premise – the idea goes, if there is a force of love and logic behind the universe, then how amazing would it be if that incomprehensible power chose to express itself as a child born in s— and straw poverty.

Who could conceive of such a story? If you believe it was the protagonist, as I do, then we should try to be really respectful of people who think the whole thing is a bit nutty or worse… Religious people are the best and worst of us…handle us with scepticism…

Strangely, maybe, some of the most rational thinkers see some kind of cosmic sense in all this… Francis Collins, who led the human genome project, is an obvious one… the language of science and faith are not necessarily at odds….

… the Christmas story … still brings me to my knees – which is a good place for me lest I harm myself or others. Christmas is not a time for me to overthink about this child, so vulnerable, who would grow so strong… to teach us all how vulnerability is the route to strength and, by example, show us how to love and serve.

To me this is not a fairy tale but a challenge. I preach what I need to hear…

Justin

Hong Kong | London | California | Washington, DC Christian | Theologian | Musician | Activist | Sojourner

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