Daily Word of Grace #60 (June 8, 2020)
I will never forget the first time I heard U2’s hit “New Year’s Day” (from their album War) on the radio in early 1983 when I was in 8th grade. I was mesmerized, and little did I know I would be a U2 fan for the next several decades (and counting). In the chorus Bono ominously sings, “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.” The recent outbreak of rioting throughout our country is a stark reminder of the unchanging nature of racism and anger—and the centuries-long deep seeded hurt and injustice beneath it. It hearkens back to the 1960’s and demonstrates that indeed “Nothing changes on New Year’s Day.” And yet, on this same album U2 also has a song of hope entitled “Drowning Man” for those overwhelmed by our troubled world in which Bono cries out, “Take my hand, you know I’ll be there, if you can. I’ll cross the sky for your love, for I have promised, oh, to be with you tonight and for the time that will come. And I understand these winds and tides, this change of times won’t drag you away. Hold on, and hold on tightly. Hold on, and don’t let go of my love. The storms will pass, it won’t be long now. His love will last, His love will last forever.” God assures us through the Old Testament prophet Isaiah, “Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name, you are mine. When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you” (Isaiah 43:1-2). And in his incarnation Jesus literally did “cross the sky your love”, and on Good Friday suffered a violent death at the hands of an angry world. While our angry and broken human condition does not change on New Year’s Day, neither does God’s unconditional love in Jesus Christ.
Love and Prayers,