“God’s telephone number J33-3”
This time last week Cian and I were getting very excited to go to our very first U2 concert “Experience + Innocence” in the MEN Arena. It was an unforgettable evening, with songs from their 14th album ‘Songs of Experience’ focusing on the need for faith, hope and love to be brought into dark places.
Listening to the lyrics of so many of the bands songs it is clear that they are inspired by Scripture, their 80s song for example ‘40’ is clearly based on the words from Psalm 40.
“I waited patiently for the Lord
He inclined and heard my cry
He brought me up out of the pit
Out of the mire and clay
I will sing, sing a new song”
In 2002 lead singer Bono actually recorded a thank you message to the American Pastor and the writer of Bible translation ‘The Message’, Eugene H Peterson, who sadly died on Monday this week.
“Hi, Mr. Peterson, Eugene. My name is Bono. I’m a singer with the group U2. I wanted to sort of video message you my thanks, and our thanks in the band, for this remarkable work you’ve done. There’s been some great translations … but no translation that I’ve read that speaks to me in my own language.”
For Bono and the band the honesty that they found in The Message translation of the Bible has inspired them to write songs that are heard by millions of people across the world.
God uses a whole host of ways to communicate His message of love for the world, be it in a contemporary translation of the Bible or a U2 concert. I wonder is God trying to communicate something to you today through the people you meet, a situation you encounter, a song, creation? However the message is communicated we need to ensure that we are alert and ready to respond to His timeless message of truth, hope and love. We read in Jeremiah 33:3
“This is God’s Message, the God who made earth, made it liveable and lasting, known everywhere as God: ‘Call to me and I will answer you. I’ll tell you marvellous and wondrous things that you could never figure out on your own.’ (The Message translation)
(Reference to J33-3 – Can be found on the front cover of the U2 album “All that you can’t leave behind”, see if you can spot it)