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In the Name of Love

I heard a story yesterday that my pastor used to close out his sermon that I’m not soon to forget.

Being that music in general and U2 in particular serves as such a source of inspiration, I wanted to pass this on.

If you have even a remote interest in U2, you probably know that their song Pride: In the Name of Love released in 1984 was written about two men who changed history; Jesus Christ and the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr.

What you may not know is that Bono lobbied Washington heavily advocating that Martin Luther King Jr’s birthday be celebrated as a national holiday. As a result, Bono received death threats. One of these death threats targeted a specific concert venue, a specific date, and even a specific song. Bono was told that if they played that date and if he sang Pride: In the Name of Love, an attempt would be made on his life… on stage… in front of thousands. In 2011, we have better ways to deal with threats like this. In the late 1980’s pre 9/11, we weren’t so sophisticated.

As the time in the set list came for the song to be played, Bono remembers a feeling of panic coming over him. He begins to lose focus, not knowing what will happen. All he can think to do to get through the song, the moment is to close his eyes and sing. He sings the entirety of the song this way. When he opens his eyes again, not knowing what to expect, he sees silhouetted against the stage lights the back of his bass player (Adam Clayton’s) head and body standing in front of him. In effect Adam Clayton said, “If a bullet is coming your way, it’ll have to go through me.”


What a picture of what Christ has done for us. The difference is that in our case, the shot was fired, the bullet taken, but the result was life abundant. Think about what Christ did for you and for me as you remember the sacrifice of Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. today.

Pastor Bob Flayhart is the Senior Pastor of Oak Mountain Presbyterian Church in Birmingham, AL. You can follow his blog at http://www.bobflayhart.com


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