Monday, April 2, 2012

U2’s Easter Anthem: “Window in the Skies”

U2 gave us our Lenten anthem this year with their song “Walk On.” It seems appropriate to let them lead us into Easter as well. Their beautiful song “Window in the Skies” is a Resurrection ballad that extols the wonders of “what love has done” from God’s raising of Christ from the dead to the manifold ways God’s love raises us to new life today.

This song was recorded at Abbey Road where the Beatles recorded their hit song “All You Need Is Love.” The cover for this song has the four members of U2 crossing Abbey Road. It is eerily reminiscent of the famous album cover of the Beatles crossing that road with Paul out of step with the rest of the band giving rise to all sorts of speculation about his demise.

It is worth picking up on this comparison. The Beatles were cheerleaders for the sexual revolution/free love movement of the sixties. We believed then that human love could overcome all barriers and obstacles and lead us to the promised land. U2’s “Window in the Skies” preaches a different gospel: a more than human love, indeed divine love itself, has come to us, we did our worst to despise and reject that love, yet it proved itself more powerful than any grave into which we could cast it. Jesus’ resurrection from the dead has opened forever a “window in the skies” through which streams freely and forever breathing healing and new life into all our relationships. The Beatles and U2, though recording at the same place, preach very different gospels, one of which is no gospel at all but merely a new name for slavery. U2’s gospel, however, it truly good news. God has acted to do what we cannot, even at our loving best – grasp the genuine humanity and vocation for which we created!

The first verse stakes the claim that freedom and peace have come because death itself has been undone and life, true life, flows among us again. Indeed, “the rule has been disproved.” Death is not the final word, the last chapter of human life. “The stone it has been moved,” and forgiveness and new life are given to us all!

“The shackles are undone
The bullet’s quit the gun
The heat that’s in the sun
Will keep us when there’s none
The rule has been disproved
The stone it has been moved
The GRAVE is now a groove
All debts are removed

Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see what love has done
What it’s doing to me”

Resurrection love, contra merely human love, creates strange bedfellows with its enemy-loving, hate-destroying, relationship renewing ways. The genius, the power of this love, is that is gets us “out of our heads” and into God’s “heart”. And from there our attention is wholly captured by the passion to share that love that we have found (or better, has found us) with all we meet – “Oh can’t you see what love has done, what it’s doing for me”!

“Love makes strange enemies
Makes love where love may please
The soul and its striptease
Hate brought to its knees
The sky over our head
We can reach it from our bed
You let me in your heart
And out of my head

Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see what love has done
What it’s doing to me

Oh oh oh oh
Oh oh oh oh

Please don’t ever let me out of you

I’ve got no shame
Oh no, oh no

Oh can’t you see what love has done
Oh can’t you see
Oh can’t you see what love has done
What it’s doing to me

I know I hurt you and I made you cry
Did everything but murder you and I
Our love left a window in the skies
And to love I rhapsodize

Oh can’t you see what love has done
To every broken heart
Oh can’t you see what love has done
For every heart that cries”

And this is all due to the powerful reality that “Love left a window in the skies.” Jesus’ resurrection opened the world to God’s love in a way that it can never be shut out again. Indeed, this love, God’s death-defeating resurrection love, will bring us to the promised land.

“Love left a window in the skies
And to love I rhapsodize

Oh can’t you see”

It’s this kind of love that enables us to “Walk On” as we make our way to the kingdom of God. Have a most blessed Easter!

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