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November 16, 2010

Comments

Tim, I was so sorry to miss your sermon on Sunday (I was following the questions and responses on Facebook). Definitely one of those times that I wished we were a bit closer than the other side of the country! Thanks for speaking (and typing) this important truth about interacting with God, in whatever way.

Hi Audrey, wow, that would have been great to have you around. This is a topic we could have spent some time talking through. I chuckled as I prepped for this sermon and was thinking about the kinds of questions I was asking. I thought, "There's another way to approach this; some churches would actually try to answer the questions." I'm so glad I'm at a place that can let questions just be questions. One of my main points in the sermon was that asking the questions itself is probably more important than receiving an answer. Thus, the act of asking, seeking and knocking, from whatever perspective, brings the asker, the seeker and the knocker closer to God regardless of the answer. Fun stuff. Thanks for the note!

Thanks for posting this sermon.In response to your comments......

Thus, the act of asking, seeking and knocking, from whatever perspective, brings the asker, the seeker and the knocker closer to God regardless of the answer.
It remins me of the extra verse in "One".

"You hear us coming Lord? / You hear us call? / You hear us knocking, knocking at Your door? / You hear us coming, Lord? / You hear us call? / You hear us scratching, will You make me crawl?".

Hi Rebecca. Great connection to U2's "One." I hadn't thought of that. Another song that I was considering using is "Unknown Caller." If I had time I would have played the live clip from the 360 Rose Bowl concert. I love the idea of 100,000 people singing "Hear me, cease to speak that I may speak / Shush now / Then don't move or say a thing." And Jeremiah 33:3 (referenced in the song) would have been another great text to read. Thanks for the comments!

Hello Tim! Must be busy because I've been checking the blog ever-so-patiently waiting for a new entry!

Anyways, I would just like to share with you how your blog and this sermon in particular has affected me and others in my life. I only listened to U2 in passing during my youth, since it was somehow more culturally significant to listen to more nihilistic, aggressive rock. But recently after turning back to the Lord after a grave struggle with combat PTSD, I found that U2's approach fit into that sense of adventure, the need to ask those questions, to reverentially fear God but also be honest and true with my prayers and supplications, particularly knowing that He tends to look at hearts rather than deeds or offerings (Reference Psalm 51:16-17). So I've utilized U2's music and lyrics to really get into what my past experience has been.

Frankly, when I hear "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For," I'm really thinking that although the song has some extremely sorrowful overtones, perhaps to some listeners (myself in particular) what used to be a chorus sung in pain and wanting, is now one of praise and joy! Job is a classic example - after being smitten with a row of unfortunate events and mishaps despite God knowing what a man of integrity and devotion he was, Job praised the Lord instead of cursing. Even more, Paul asks us to train diligently and run for the eternal prize, to keep going after the finish line (1 Cor. 9:24-27).

Maybe we can read the lyrics as Bono saying,"I've been running and crawling, I've experienced this and that, and finally I have faith that Jesus was the Son of God and saved us all - but I'm still here, and I'm still running, and I'll keep running to bring the Kingdom to others and do amazing things!"

I guess the effect of this kind of interpretation is better realized when U2 was being backed up by the Voices of Freedom those many years ago - that is actually my favorite version for a multitude of reasons. I'm not expounding the other interpretations one bit, because at the same time I know what the flip side of this meaning can be, and I don't appreciate it any less.

On another note - I do have a friend that has been caught in a time of her life where there is a lot of confusion, a lot of wondering where God's plan and purpose is supposed to be in her life. She asks,"Aren't I ready? What do you have for me? Come on Lord, I need SOMETHING!"

Even though she has some misgivings about my new interest in U2 ("interest" is an understatement, but it'll have to suffice for now!), I sent her your sermon. I think even now she still thinks about that message, and really does understand why I love U2 and how much theological backgrounds and capabilities Bono and the other band members utilize in their music. So even those outside of California and who aren't U2 fans, are receiving words of encouragement from this blog. So keep it up! =)

JP,

What a beautiful story and interpretation of "Still Haven't Found." Thank you for your transparency and vulerability. Thanks also for reading my blog. Sorry I haven't posted much lately. I'm looking forward to doing more soon. Please stay tuned...

Tim

So beautiful****************
One word frees us of all the weight and pain of life--that word is love*********************

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