Tuesday, November 21, 2006

U2 and my lifescape

Play my U2 album catalogue and you replay my life.

Baby rocker: Under a Blood Red Sky was one of the first albums I ever brought. I was 15 and discovering rock music. I dreamed of playing 3 chords and the truth with Edge and climbing stadium speakers to plant white flags with Bono. The fact I have no rythm and no singing voice meant that my adolescent dreams remained dreams. But the passion and drive of U2 awoke something in me.

Early Christianity: One of the first sermons I preached was a reflection on I still haven’t found what I’ve looking for. It was 1989 and books on U2 sermons were still 14 years away. But I was stuck in a charismatic moment and the lyrics of the song whispered to me, of not-yet seen dreams of the Kingdom come.

Early love: Too poor to buy tickets, my wife to be and I parked outside what was then Lancaster Park, Christchurch for the November 4, 1989 concert. We parked in her parents Hillman Avenger and managed to sneak a view through a wire mesh fence.

The digitising of life: I sort of lost touch with U2 during their ZooTV phase. I was listening to the Zooropa album last night and was struck by the flatness of the drums. It makes me wonder if the U2 ZooTV era was best appreciated visually rather than aurally. I was also at seminary. The big influence was Karl Barth, screaming “Nien” (No) to natural theology. While U2 were going visual, I was needing to find God not in the mysterious ways of Karl Barth, but as the slow dance of the Spirit in the world that God loves.

All that you can’t leave behind: I travel to Auckland tomorrow. Together with my wife, family and friends, I’ll listen to a group that have been the soundtrack for much of my life to-date; adolescence, faith, love, career. I am not sure what the future holds for me or for U2. Here are a few lines from a sermon I preached a few weeks ago:

Every now and again, when I listen to Bono, I just want to pack my bags and head off to undertake community development in Africa.

Posted by steve at 01:57 PM

1 Comment

  1. U2 have a great time in Auckland – my U2 history starts only a little later than yours – but it feels like a long wait. almost ended up stranded in chch last night but we are here now!!

    Comment by jowall — November 24, 2006 @ 7:01 am

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