Sunday, March 1, 2009

More on Unknown Caller

The more I listen to Unknown Caller on the new U2 album, the more I think about Christian prayer. I don't know whether or not I'm just hearing what I want to hear or am truly interpreting an author according to what he has written (I'd love to sit down with Bono some day and have a discussion on U2 lyrics and Christian spirituality...if not this side of eternity, then at least when there is no more line on the horizon). As I listen to the song more, I begin to see Jesus, Who, Scripture tells us, "arose early, while it was still dark, and went off to a lonely place to pray." Bono sings, "I was lost between the midnight and the dawning; In a place of no consequence or company." Even the opening lines of "Sunshine, Sunshine" reminds me of a day begun with prayer. We, like our Lord, are to develop a life of prayer. We are called as followers of Christ to be desperately dependent upon God and we must spend time in solitude and silence if we are to truly hear the voice of the Spirit over the noise of the world and over our own restlessness as well. Another curious line to me is where Bono sings, "Password, you enter here." Again, who knows whether he means this, but to me the "password" to all effective prayer for a follower of Christ is praying in the Name of Jesus. As we come to the Father in the power of the Spirit and ask in the Name, in the righteousness, in the standing of Jesus, we are assured of being heard. Jesus is THE Password. Jesus calls us to believe that we will receive what we ask for whenever we pray His Name. I think the song even leads us to consider the hope of prayer musically. With the organ and the victorious, hopeful melody toward the end of the song, it seems as though the hope of prayer has broken through our pain and confusion. The Psalms are filled with laments, when the psalmist begins pouring out his complaint to God, usually related to his enemies pursuing him and the anxiety and stress he's facing. But as he cries out to God in prayer, somehow, at some point, his perspective is changed...he's led from fear to faith and he ends what began as a lament with praise to God in hope. I hear this in Unknown Caller...lyrically AND muscially...and its beautiful.

4 comments:

St. Upid said...

its no mystery that bono has an affinity for the psalms. he wrote and introduction to a collection of the psalms: http://www.atu2.com/news/article.src?ID=668&Key=psalms&Year=&Cat

i hear a bit of the psalmist in every song. even if he sometimes drifts toward the song of solomon.

The Bobosphere said...

I agree...he definitely has some Song of Solomon leanings on the new cd

brian said...

just shy of the 5th minute of the song there is a climaxing organ riff, which sounds like an old hymn. Thoughts? Wondering if it is Oh How Wonderful.

UAME said...

...I'm searching the net for comments on this song, and was pleased to see this blog closely resembling what I felt myself. Just a few tidbits: Some think 3:33 is another U2 reference to what Bono has said is God's phone number, Jeremiah 33:3 (read it, and consider the theme of the song.) My wife believes that the 3:33 is referring to the approximate time in the afternoon when Christ finished His work on the cross. Sin (Old Law) was "forced quit" and "moved to trash." Lastly, the organ and subsequent guitar notes are the chorus to "My Savior's Love" - OH, how marvelous, OH how wonderful, and my song shall ever be: Oh how marvelous, oh how wonderful is my Saviour's love for me!