5th April 2020

A New Song

“He has put a new song in my mouth—Praise to our God;
many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord.”
Psalm 40:3 (NKJV UK)

In November 1982 a moderately popular band was just about to be kicked out of the recording studio. The next band waited eagerly, but feeling they were one song short, they put their heads together quickly and revived an old tune they’d been using. Scrambling for inspiration, the lead singer opened up his bible to Psalm 40 and came across the verse, ‘I waited patiently for the Lord, he inclined and heard my cry, He lifted me up out of the pit, out of the miry clay.’ And so the classic U2 song “40” was born.

You probably know the tune very well. It completed U2’s album War. Four years later they were one of the most popular bands in the world and still are. Most members of the band are professing Christians, with the lead singer, Bono, famously outspoken about his faith.

The song has an imminently catchy tune and a chorus-type ending in which the lyrics “How long to sing this song? How long to sing this song?” ring out. It’s a mainstay to close a U2 concert. The band leaves one at a time as the song fades and the crowd sings over and over, “How long to sing this song?”

We ask the same thing: How long—how long, O Lord, until the world is made new and the Kingdom comes? How long will we see things only partly as they are? How long will we see through a glass darkly as Paul says? How long will we only know in part?

People all over the world, many of them no friends of faith, have been singing scripture for years during the career of U2 and didn’t know it. The word of God finds its way into every ear, and you never quite know where it will come from. David wrote this song first, under the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, and it has resonated with people ever since. And even in our society which thinks it’s post-religious, post-church, and free of any sort of theological belief, these lyrics still ring true.

Heavenly Father, your words are so potent and self-evidently true that they can ‘hide’ in a popular song. May the message quietly ‘get through’ to those who hear. In Jesus’ name we pray.

Study presented by Greg Williams

About the Presenter:
The Day by Day each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life,’ (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Greg Williams is President of Grace Communion International and lives in North Carolina, USA.

Local Congregation:
You are welcome to attend one of our local Church congregations located throughout the UK and Ireland. For details of your nearest local congregation, check on our website, www.gracecom.church under the ‘Churches’ tab, or ring +44 (0)1858 437099.

Email: admin@daybyday.org.uk

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