U2 and Desmond Tutu: hope in a broken world

tutu“God will put a wind at our back and a rising road ahead, if we work with each other as one.”

These were some of the pre-recorded words on the lips of Archbishop Desmond Tutu on the video screen at the U2 concert in Sheffield last Thursday. It was a very good way of publicising the One campaign. No prizes for guessing what legendary song Bono followed Tutu’s inspiring message of love, justice and hope with (it’s the name of the campaign!), but the whole of Tutu’s video message can be seen here from a previous night of the current tour:

It was good to see some strong Christian themes woven throughout the concert. For me, perhaps one of the dominant themes was joy. Bono managed to squeeze a snippet of Beethoven’s Ode to Joy and also a quick rendition of “O come all ye faithful, most joyful and triumphant”  (Rev Black Grape version, not Christmas carol) in-between some of the material. This is a band who, in my mind, are at the top of their game and as fresh as they sounded when they first set out in 1978. On the same day as A Level students found out their results, the band members also humbly admitted to not possessing many between them although The Edge did say “more than you” when Bono asked him how many he achieved!

Steve Stockman (Presbyterian minister and chaplain in Belfast), who wrote about U2’s Christian spirituality in his book Walk On, gives a theological reflection on this current tour here.

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