Last night I went to see U23D with some friends here in DC, and wow, was it incredible! You need to go see it now!

No joke, but watching/experiencing a U2 concert is a deeply spiritual event for me. I connect with God so much through their music and lyrics, more than I do in many church services to be honest.

I watched this massive crowd of people being caught up in something that is so much bigger than any of their individual experiences.

They connected with each other, with the music, with the message. It makes me question what we as a church can do to draw people towards Jesus. Why do we not make better use of the techniques used in experiences like a U2 concert and redeem them?

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the theology of music. I think I’ll do a separate post on it, but over the last month especially I have been connecting with God so much through “secular” artists than through “Christian” artists. U2 are the modern-day theologians for many Irish people, and probably many other nationalities. It was a strange experience to be sitting in a room full of Americans listening to Bono sing Sunday Bloody Sunday (Bloody Sunday wikipedia), knowing that it probably has an entirely different effect on you than on anyone else in the room. When you come from a country where your entire land has been torn in two because of religion, where the only differential is whether you go to church or chapel at the weekend, to hear a fellow Irishman sing, “No more…” is a powerful experience.

And the battle’s just begun
There’s many lost, but tell me who has won?
The trenches dug within our hearts
And mothers, children, brothers, sisters
Torn apart.

Sunday, bloody Sunday.
Sunday, bloody Sunday.

How long, how long must we sing this song?
How long, how long?
‘Cos tonight
We can be as one, tonight.

I may not agree with everything Bono says or does, but in a country where church is irrelevant for many people (check out this video from the Republic of Ireland for an idea), to be getting your theology from U2 is not a bad starting place I reckon…

Take these hands
Teach them what to carry
Take these hands
Don’t make a fist
Take this mouth
So quick to criticise
Take this mouth
Give it a kiss

Yahweh, Yahweh
Always pain before a child is born
Yahewh, Yahweh
Still I’m waiting for the dawn…