I have very limited time to post because of an intensive seminar in which I am participating in Georgia. So I am re-posting from the archives of my old blog, this one, from September 29, 2009:
By the grace of God and the generosity of a friend I was given 6 tickets to the U2 Concert in Chicago. I took my daughter and two of her friends, and a couple from one of the classes I teach at Trinity Seminary. It was a great time. Concert was great. A blend of new music and old music spanning the 35 years that the groups has been together. Big concerts like these, (65,000 screaming fans) are more spectacle than music appreciation. The stage, sound system, light system and 360 degree stage and screen and runway, and two moving bridges, were absolutely gigantic, mythologically large. All seats were great.
The stage for the concert was enormous and dramatic in its special effects capacities. But people don’t go to these concerts because of the music they will hear, they could do that for a lot less cost by simply purchasing the new CD and it would sound a whole lot better.
We go to these concerts to remember where we were when we heard our first U2 song, or how we first began to follow the ruminations of Bono, or when we first realized that The Edge was so distinctive in his guitar riffs that we could tell a U2 song before Bono sang or the DJ made his pronouncement. We go to say that we were there. “we were there when …” Or for me, to announce to all of my party that I was listening to U2 before any of them were born. They were unimpressed and just told me that I was showing my age. So be it.
We go to a U2 concert, because unlike most bands, we think they are more than entertainment. We think they are important. Or at least, they and we would like to think so. And so we are not surprised when Bono trots out Bishop Tutu after one encore or that a song is dedicated to Mynamar leader Daw Aung San Suu Kyi. It doesn’t strike us as odd that a rock star celebrates ONE.com and urges all concert goers to promote the cause. This is what we have come to expect from Bono and U2. We might disagree with some of the particulars espoused but we (the concert goers) love that Bono is passionate about making a difference in the world.
We love that he isn’t just getting rich with the $30-40 million dollars the concert raked in in its two nights in Chicago. We love that he is trying to raise awareness that there is more than our little corner of the world out there. There are people that are dying out there in the big, wide world and there are causes worth living for in this sin-infested world. I love Bono’s passion. I want to plant churches with the kind of passion with which Bono sings every song, every night, on every stage, to every audience.
The Savior of the world deserves it. The world needs it. Shame on us if we don’t beg God for the same kind of passion for the greatest news ever announced–the good news of the gospel.