Graeme has more than his fair share of U2 songs on that blog – he has looked at both these songs.
U2 are not a ‘Christian’ band although Bono and the boys do claim to have faith. They are not overt about their beliefs but they are very open about their stand on social justice issues, bigotry and their stand for what is right. Both these songs touch on those issues.
In their song ‘Where the Streets have no name’ Graeme sees a correlation with one of the beatitudes –
This U2 track is essentially about persecution, it’s about racial divides, it’s about the ghettos and does not just reflect Belfast during the 1980’s but across the world. It’s a global issue. People who are persecuted for the colour of their skin or where they are born, persecuted for their nationality, or their religion. Persecution runs deep. It’s this that Jesus is touching in this the eighth beatitude “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.” Jesus is giving hope to those who were enduring life at the hands of the oppression of the Roman state and the religious institution of Judaism.
My U2 GPS has taken me where the streets have no name – these could be the streets of Melbourne. Over the past few months the ministry team of the Melbourne Welsh Church has increasingly been coming across people for whom the streets are not nice places to be; homelessness, persecution, feeling cut off from family or friends to name but a few of the situations we’ve come across. These nameless streets can be lonely places especially when you cannot find what you are looking for (whatever that is).
The Church is supposed to be a place of help for these lost people – in another of his blogs (this one on ‘I still haven’t found what I’m looking for’) Rev. Dodds examines the idea that many have doubts in the value, not just of Jesus, but of organised religion.
You could not be blamed if you have second thoughts about organised religion or that you have doubts about faith. It is not wrong to question, It’s not wrong to doubt. On the contrary it would be very suspicious to many if they met someone who seemed to have it all sewn up. You know the kind, that perfect person that does not have any problems, no issues, no worries, no questions, no brokenness and answers to the name of perfect Peter. I’m not sure that they person really exists. I have encountered many people who have said they have no issues, but scratch the surface and there they are.
The roadmap of life is not easy and wherever we get our guidance from, whatever GPS we use, there are some things that are universally right – the stand against injustice; working against prejudice; the value of all people – to name just a few.
If we wander where the streets have no name and spend time with those who still haven’t found what they are looking for we must be prepared to be the church and take the values of Jesus with us – those values that Jesus showed to those of his time that walked those same streets – let us take with us love, forgiveness and grace to name just a few. If we show people those gifts then maybe hey will be a step closer to finding what they are looking for.