Monday, June 27, 2011

U2 and Jesus in Jerusalem (by way of Glastonbury) with NT Wright and coffee as opening act

Some thought it was a nod to Emerson Lake and Palmer, who once covered the song.
(Some think it's an ELP, buy that's only us Americans).
But it was a not to Jesus....and the tradition of Jesus being in England  (!!_

The song, which U2 did at Glastonbury? "Jerusalem," itself based on a Blake poem:

"And did those feet in ancient time" is a short poem by William Blake from the preface to his epic Milton a Poem, one of a collection of writings known as the Prophetic Books. The date on the title page of 1804 for Milton is probably when the plates were begun but the poem was printed c. 1808.[1] Today it is best known as the anthem "Jerusalem", with music written by Sir Hubert Parry in 1916.
The poem was inspired by the apocryphal story that a young Jesus, accompanied by his uncle Joseph of Arimathea, travelled to the area that is now England and visited Glastonbury.[2] Although at that time England would have been in the hands of the Romano-British, Glastonbury itself was governed by the Durotriges, Romano-British (most of which were brythonic speaking).The legend is linked to an idea in the Book of Revelation (3:12 and 21:2) describing a Second Coming, wherein Jesus establishes a new Jerusalem. The Christian church in general, and the English Church in particular, used Jerusalem as a metaphor for Heaven, a place of universal love and peace.[3][4]In the most common interpretation of the poem, Blake implies that a visit of Jesus would briefly create heaven in England, in contrast to the "dark Satanic Mills" of the Industrial Revolution. Analysts note that Blake asks four questions rather than stating a visit to be true. According to this view, the poem says that there may, or may not, have been a divine visit, when there was briefly heaven in England. But that was then; now, we are faced with the challenge of creating such a country once again.[5][6]  -WIKIPEDIA

Beth of course caught it:

"was Jerusalem builded here, among these dark satanic mills?"
What an amazing performance at Glastonbury. For anyone curious about the hymn that began "Streets" and also showed up in "Bad" last night - I'm sure all our UK readers knew it well, but it was a total mystery to many viewers in the USA - here is a brief homily drawing heavily on it, preached by NT Wright during the Glastonbury Festival in 2007 (tho not in connection with it). I think you can see how the first verse ties in with Glastonbury and the second verse ties in rather well with some standard U2 preoccupations.  -U@ Sermons:

At Glastonbury, Bono not only sang some of "Jerusalem" as preface to "Where The Streets Have No Name" (a thematic segue that makes theological sense in light of the NT Wright sermon above), a spot where he often sings "Amazing Grace"), but also snippeted some of it into "Bad".

Also, note Bono's comments, "Might be the leylines, could be the jet lag,,but it's a very special feeling to  be here".

I love that comment..reminds of "was that the Holy Spirit, or the coffee?"  It's sometimes both.

 The man has an unusual sensitivity to what some have called "spiritual  mapping," (see "U2 can pastor the city")
  or a Celtic theology of "thin places".....all that to say he always knows where he is, and what the the spiritual vibe of that cit is..He even has an assistant research each region the band plays.

Makes me wonder what it would feel like to see U2 in literal Jerusalem..

...but then again, not every song U2 does in Israel is deeply spiritual or prophetic.  (:

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