Monday, August 03, 2009

anointed and clueless bannermen like me: "Unknown Caller" in Milan

"I speak in these kind of parables so that they ...will not understand and be saved"
-Jesus, Matthew 13

One of the questions I often get when I teach on U2 and the prophetic acts Bono weaves into the lyrics and concerts is "Oh, I see it, but is the audience getting it?"

I guess it's like church: some are and some aren't.

I have played back concert video or audio (even to concerts I attended), and catch new stuff/prayers all the time.

But as the singer once said:"All I've got is a red guitar (some Bongolese glossolalia, a ton of Scripture references, and a multimillion dollar clawcathedral), three chords and the truth...the rest is up to you."

I have played back concert video or audio (even to concerts I attended), and catch new stuff/Scriptures/prayers all the time. I often wished I had "gotten it" at the time.

Most Christian fans know that Bono embeds one of his favorite Scriptures all over the songs, interviews..and even album covers. He calls it "God's phone number," which everyone who grew up in Sunday School knows is Jeremiah 33:3. So it was clear when we first heard that "Unknown Caller" referenced a time on the clockface of 3:33, this was not random, bit a fish in the sand
(as opposed to pearls to the swine).

But check out the video below. I am so glad I caught this on Beth's Facebook, as I hadn't seen it
(it actually come from the official U2 website!). Her comments:

A bunch of U2 fans arrange for thousands of people to stage a massive display of a Bible reference during Unknown Caller in Milan. (The citation appeared some years ago in U2's work and is re-used in the song's lyrics to help hearers identify the "caller.") The European fans clearly don't have any overt Bible-related agenda, but just think it's a cool thing to do -- which demonstrates once again the brilliance of U2's overall strategy (it's U2 themselves that released this video btw). The stunt more or less works, but I think there is a chance somebody may have gone home and looked up Jeremiah 23:3 instead.
Beth Maynard

As David Seamands used to say about emotional healing, "The Holy Spirit sometimes uses a temporary assistant (the pastoral counselors.) Here, thousands of temporary assistants to the Holy Spirit and U2 seek to ensure that the whole Milan audience "gets" the Bible reference.

Who remember's Steve Taylor's "Bannerman"

Let's talk about the new single "Bannerman." Steve Taylor comes along and notices the little guy out in the crowd with the "John 3:16" sign and decides there might be something worth saying about it that isn't just cynical or jaded. As someone who's so concerned with the state of the arts in Christendom, why write a song about that guy?
STEVE TAYLOR:Well, I have to be careful how I say this. Chagall Guevara ended up playing in a lot of dark places, and in retrospect I wonder if there is a tendency to think you get a lot more accomplished than you

Watch more Squint videos on AOL Video

actually do in those situations. I would probably be lying to myself if I said I really believed that now.
Frankly, when I was doing straight Gospel music, if I had seen a guy holding up a banner that said "John 3:16" in the middle of a football game, that might have seemed a little stupid, but because of Chagall I saw it in a new light. It's not very artful, and who knows ultimately what kind of fruit it produces, but I think the idea of a guy standing up and holding this banner that lets the Bible speak for itself is kind of cool.
It reminded me, most of us that come to Christ often come because of very unartistic methods. I don't really have the nerve that these guys do. I don't think I'd have written "Bannerman" five years ago, but it was actually the first song I wrote for this album. In fact, it was the first song I had written on my own in five years. LINK
The Milan U2 event us akin "Bannerman" at the sports events...but in a much more "U2ey" way (as Beth says) in that I am sure many of the signholders don't "get" (or need to) the fulness of what they are doing.

Which may be precisely the point.

And precisely the case with all of us.

I am a partly clueless Signholder..the rest is up to you.

Here's the video, enjoy:

No comments:

Post a Comment

Hey, thanks for engaging the conversation!