“There is no them, there’s only us” – U2, Invisible

Some mornings I wake up with a song in my head. More often than not it’s a U2 song. Their music has had a profound influence on me for many, many years.

This morning, for some reason, their song, Invisible, was playing in my head. I was scrolling through my emails and thinking of Advent, the time of waiting for the birth of Christ, in a world that doesn’t like waiting. As a blog I read this morning said, Advent is deeply counter-cultural because it is about waiting.

It was then that the lyrics of Invisible invaded my mind. Towards the end of the song come the words, “there is no them…only us”.

Every Christmas we sing about the Prince of Peace coming to bring peace on earth. But every Christmas it seems the same; peace is a long-distant dream, maybe something we can only imagine.

This Christmas again, perhaps more than others in recent times, the world is crying out for peace on earth. We are crying out for a saviour. Can anyone seriously deny that our world needs saving?

As we come to the time of Advent, the time of waiting, many people are sick of waiting. Like the Psalmist of old, millions are crying out “how long O Lord?!”. How long does the world need to wait for You to act, how long until peace reigns and violence is finally put to death?

I saw written somewhere else this morning that without Advent we cannot really understand Christmas. Without the reflection time of Advent, when we wait for the long-awaited Saviour to come, we don’t really understand the need for a Saviour. Without a proper sense of the sin in the world, we don’t know what it is we need saving from.

St Paul, in his letter to the Galatians, said that in Christ there is no longer any them or us. There is neither Jew nor Greek, male or female, rich or poor, or any other division. We are all one in Christ. And at risk of being called a heretic, this doesn’t apply only to Christians. It is God’s desire that all come to him and are one.

In God’s world, there is no them, there’s only us. It is a world where God longs for peace on earth, where there is no ISIS and there are no bombs falling on Syria. It is a world in which enemies are made friends, where the Prince of Peace rules over all and he rules from within our hearts. It is a world where there are no “Invisibles”, because God’s table is open to all.

May it be so. In this time of Advent, I find it hard to be patient; I find myself saying, “come quickly Lord Jesus and end this mess”. God help me instead to reflect and know from what it is that I and the world need saving, because it is my heart that needs renewal too, as much as that of the ISIS terrorist. Help me then to turn anew to You, the Prince of all peace, to reflect You to a broken world.

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