Sleeve Notes 101: Carry Each Other

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Carry Each Other

This past Wednesday was one of Hollywood's biggest nights. Just about everywhere one looked, the stars were out in abundance. The reason was the 48th Annual Grammy Awards, broadcast live from the Staples Center here in Los Angeles. I waited with baited breath for my invitation and, failing to get that, plopped myself down in front of my 46 inch widescreen to watch the festivities in high definition.

This was a night for our music stars to shine their brightest and did they ever; showing up in their best outfits giving tribute to the biggest name designers and jewelers. Unlike for some, this was not my primary reason to watch and, although they looked beautiful, I was only interested in the music. Madonna kicked the show off with an impressive display of why she remains one of the musical icons of our generation. Other artists performed their hits with abandon and, sprinkled throughout the performances a host of awards were given to the creme de la creme.

At one point in the evening, U2 came out to perform one of their hits and as always, nailed the performance. I've enjoyed U2 over the years and that enjoyment has grown into admiration as I've learned more about Bono and the crusade he has led to get those of us who are blessed with so much to help out those who have so little. In fact, I had just read his speech to President Bush and Washington Law Makers at the National Prayer Breakfast where he exhorted the President and Congress of this most blessed of nations to do more for those who are considered the "least."

As Bono and U2 wrapped up their high energy performance, they segued into their hit One. I perked up. I got even more excited as Mary J. Blige came out and added her soulful voice, turning the number into a true gospel performance. As Bono and Mary J. Blige sang "One Love ~ One Blood ~ One Life ~ You got to do what you should ~ One Life ~ With each other ~ Sisters ~ Brothers ~ One Life ~ But we aren't the same ~ We get to carry each other ~ Carry each other ~ One" I began to hear the words of Galatians 6:2 in the scriptures. Stoop down and reach out to those who are oppressed. Share their burdens and so complete Christ's law.

In a world that has become increasingly divided along religious, political and socio-economic lines, the words recorded in the scriptures become a startling wake-up up call. Our differences don't give us the excuse to refuse to help out our fellow man. It seems in our world it becomes increasingly easy to marginalize those who disagree with us. By marginalizing them, we in essence excuse ourselves from helping them in their moments of need. We've become very judgmental in our approach to dealing with those less fortunate than ourselves, blaming poor decision making, or any number of other factors as the reason for their current misfortune...as if that excuses us from our duty.

If Galatians is really in effect, then for those of us who are believers, our duty to the law of Christ boils down to one thing: bearing one another's burdens. Recently I read the posting of someone who confessed how he had recently been convicted of a lack of compassion for those who had made poor choices and were reaping the results of those choices. He made the comment, that as a former law enforcement officer, he had really got in the mindset that these people got what they deserved. And yet, it struck him one day that if he got what he deserved from our Maker, he too would be suffering. As I read that, I wondered if perhaps those of us who are believers have gotten to a point where we are more willing to write people off because of poor decisions, than to we are to helping restore them to wholeness.

If we are to fulfill the law of Christ, then we have to realize, as Bono and Mary J. Blige sang, that we've got to carry each other. The fulfillment of the law of Christ revolves around the message that we are inter-dependent. We need one another. Not to sit in judgment! But to carry each other when the chips are down. To bear the burdens of our fellow man. It shouldn't matter whether they have a different religious belief! It shouldn't matter that they are on a different level socio-economically! It shouldn't matter that they might have made choices we would not have! The fulfillment of Christ's law doesn't have us sitting on a jury or as a judge, rather it has us joining hands, despite our differences, and remembering that we are one and that we must carry each other.

j.

1 Comments:

Blogger Michael said...

Jonathan,

Good observations, Jonathan. I really admire Bono for taking a message of Christ's love-in-action to the musical and political stage. He doesn't fit the evangelical mold but is a committed believer that is doing more than many in the church.

5:31 PM  

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