Bring back the Wow

Just finished rereading the scripture passage I preached yesterday at Redeemer, and listening to the sermon. If you missed it, you can listen here  or download it here under “The Christmas Flip-Flop”
I also wanted to put up Bono’s manger reflection. I hope that this amazing incarnation story never ceases to amaze us. It doesn’t need to evoke tears as it did for him one Xmas Eve, but how can it not make us say, “Wow!” After the sermon I spoke with a couple who felt the same way. When a pastor can hear people speaking more highly of Jesus, his prayers for a “good sermon” have been answered. It just doesn’t get any better than that. The goal for the whole worship service is that people would be talking about and celebrating the tri-une God.
May this Advent season, when we celebrate Christ’s first coming and long for his return, be dominated by the awe of God’s son born in straw poverty. Like Bono said, “What poetry!”
What I forgot to mention in my sermon when I reference this quote is that Bono wasn’t given star treatment that Xmas Eve service. He didn’t have a seat saved for him! That only moved him closer to the humility of Jesus and enhanced his experience. Here’s the quote and introduction.
This reflection on Christmas occurred after Bono had just returned home, to Dublin, from a long tour with U2. On Christmas Eve Bono went to the famous St. Patrick’s Cathedral, where Jonathan Swift was dean. Apparently he was given a really poor seat, one obstructed by a pillar, making it even more difficult for him to keep his eyes open…but it was there that this Christmas story struck him like never before. He writes:

“The idea that God, if there is a force of Logic and Love in the universe, that it would seek to explain itself is amazing enough. That it would seek to explain itself and describe itself by becoming a child born in straw poverty, in sh&$ and straw…a child… I just thought: “Wow!” Just the poetry … Unknowable love, unknowable power, describes itself as the most vulnerable. There it was. I was sitting there, and it’s not that it hadn’t struck me before, but tears came streaming down my face, and I saw the genius of this, utter genius of picking a particular point in time and deciding to turn on this.”

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