12 March 2008

U2: Sometimes you can't make it on your own

My students shared some great music with me while I was teaching a class on Music and Social Justice over the last two weeks. I plan to share some of these songs as we approach Holy Week and then Easter. One of the great songs was this one by U2, "Sometimes you can't make it on your own." It's really pretty good. There is a lot of atonement theology alluded to in the song (which I will reflect upon, soon). And a deep sense that we are NOT alone, and that we don't have to feel like we have to do IT all on our own. This sentiment reminds me a bit of Desmond Tutu's Ubuntu theology of "I am because you are" which means that individuals are constituted relationally, and that individuals need other people to be fulfilled. I have been reminded of this truth at many times in my life, with family, with friends, on sports teams, in workplaces, and in seminary at Virginia Theological Seminary. I am because you are, and when I begin to think that "I can make it on my own," is when I cut myself off from others, and can even feel like I've cut myself off from God's grace. Is there any lesson here for us in the church? Is there an implied ecclesiology within this theory of ubuntu? Who is claiming that they can "make it on their own"? Hmmmm...perhaps Bono has something to teach us that does not solely relate to the MDGs (Millenium Development Goals)?

Some gems from the lyrics:
"you don't have to always be right"
"let me take some of the punches for you, tonight"
"you don't have to go it alone"
"sometimes you can't make it on your own"

Check it out below in the Youtube posting of it,


No comments: