Blurb from "Jesus Walks" (Kanye West)
"They say you can rap about anything except for Jesus
That means guns, sex, lies, video tapes
But if I talk about God my record won't get played Huh?"
Most of the Christians I know (myself included) are quite repressed when it comes to proclaiming our faith from the rooftops. We don't necessarily want to be seen as enthusiastic followers of Christ: Christians yes, but "Lovers of Jesus"? Hmm...that smacks a little too much of rabid, born again evangelism...we collectively shudder in our polite, moderate congregations.
I think that reluctance to actively and visibly walk in the path of Jesus is certainly one of the reasons why, as Kanye writes, songs about God do not get much radio play...unless, of course, the songwriters happen to be U2!
I've been a huge U2 fan for years...my ears perked up at 1980's "I Will Follow", and when I heard "New Year's Day" a year or so later, I was hooked on this band. When The Joshua Tree album came out in 1987, I vaguely noticed the biblical references in the title and a few songs. But it was not until hearing the Rattle & Hum album a couple years later that I really tuned into the spiritual themes running rampant through so many of U2's lyrics.
The full-out choir version of "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For" may have been my first clue!
There are many biblical and spiritual references in U2's lyrics (some of which are lost on me, not being particularly up on my bible reading), but a couple of the more obvious examples are:
"See the stone set in your eyes
See the thorn twist in your side
I wait for you"...
"Through the storm we reach the shore
You give it all but I want more
And I'm waiting for you"
(from "With or Without You")
We’re at a place called Vertigo
Lights go down and all I know
Is that you give me something
I can feel your love teaching me how
Your love is teaching me how, how to kneel…"
The more I look, the more references I find...and the findings are validated by hearing Bono speak of his faith, such as in this 2005 Rolling Stone interview. He seems very grounded in his beliefs, albeit in an ever growing, ever searching kind of way.
I am still working my way through my own faith, but my journey of discovery has led me to join my church choir and I find I quite enjoy sharing my joy with others through song...