Bono and a Christmas Miracle (a bedtime story)

Several weeks ago Dave and I went up to Whittier Area Community Church to watch a video of an interview with Bono that they were showing. Their goal in showing it was to raise awareness of the AIDS crisis in Africa, and to fundraise for a cause they'd decided to support, which was to build a hospital in Malawi for children infected with the AIDS virus. The church had pledged to give $160,000 toward this cause.

The interview with Bono was really interesting. I've been a U2 fan for as long as I can remember, and I always liked that Bono was a believer, although I've never really had a very clear idea of what, exactly, his theology is. After watching the video, there is no more doubt in my mind. He basically preached the gospel right down the line and talked a lot about faith and its importance. It was cool to hear him professing Christ in no uncertain terms, because it's so rare that you see someone with real, practiced Christian beliefs in such a public and popular position. He has such an influence on pop culture and it's exciting to see him use it for something that's truly good.

I also loved hearing him talk about what's going on in Africa and why he's so passionate about the plight of those affected there by AIDS. There is so much violence and ignorance involved, and most of the victims are innocent: women who are raped, babies who are born with the virus. He spoke at length about how these are the people that Jesus is talking about when he talks about "the least of these," and how we are commanded to help them. He seemed to have his facts all straight and wasn't just another famous person championing a cause because it will boost their popularity. He really knew what he was talking about.

One thing that Bono said that I really liked was that Christians and the church need to get behind this cause regardless of the political aspect. That's something that I've thought about a lot lately, how we, as Christians, sometimes turn our backs on something that's right simply because it's high on the liberal agenda. We need to take care of our earth, to help the poor, to feed the hungry, because those are the right things to do. I'm preaching to myself, here, because I forget that the bottom line of these actions is not the liberal agenda, the bottom line is grace and compassion and love.

When we talked to the pastor of the church after the video was shown, he didn't seem very confident that the money they'd pledged would come in. He said they were praying for a Christmas miracle. They got their miracle in a big way. Instead of raising $160,000, they raised $518,702.88.

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