In September of last year, through the generosity of a friend, I was able to go to a U2 concert  at Soldier Field in Chicago. I am away at a seminar in Georgia for the next 3 days and so I am re-posting something from my old blog related to my thinking going into the concert and then my post-concert reflections on Tuesday.

On March 17th, I wrote here that the song “Magnificent” was U2’s best worship song in years.  Here are the words.

Magnificent – by U2

I was born
I was born to be with you
In this space and time
After that and ever after I haven’t had a clue
Only to break rhyme
This foolishness can leave a heart black and blue

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

I was born
I was born to sing for you
I didn’t have a choice but to lift you up
And sing whatever song you wanted me to
I give you back my voice
From the womb my first cry
It was a joyful noise

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love can heal such a scar

Justified till we die
You and I will magnify
The Magnificent
Magnificent

Only love, only love can leave such a mark
But only love, only love unites our hearts

Justified till we die
You and I will magnify
The Magnificent
Magnificent
Magnificent

I still like the song, but I was wrong.  Bono has said in an interview that the song is about  “two lovers holding on to each other and trying to turn their life into worship.”  Jamming in a recording session, the song began to take form when, as The Edge has been quoted,  “The basic chord progression had a power that got everyone inspired.  I think we all knew that it was inherently joyful, which is rare.”

Bono is a Bible reader and so the language of the Bible filters into his thought process on much that he touches.  So it shouldn’t be surprising that the language and phraseology of the Psalms and the emotion and images of worship find their way into the lyrics or that the soaring and passionate chord progression delivered by The Edge would lead me to the borderland of worship.

Christ is the lover I lift up.
He is the one Magnificent One in the universe.
I am compelled to sing any song that He wants me to.
And the cry of my heart,
even when I pursued lesser things,
has really always been to be with Him.

The Christian life is a life-long giving back of our voices
to the One who gave His all for us.

So for me, the song is a worship song.  But that isn’t what Bono, and The Edge, and Brian Eno had in mind when they were writing the song.  I wish it was.

Tomorrow, reflections on the concert, Lord willing.

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One thought on “The One Magnificent One – What Worship is All About

  1. Thanks for posting. Bono’s comment of ““two lovers holding on to each other and trying to turn their life into worship.” reminds me of a man and woman struggling to love as God loves us. It can leave us black and blue at times. Relationships are the hardest work there is.

    We all end up worshipping someone or something. The question is always who or what? That leaves Bono’s statement open to interpretation. Are they worshipping each other, their relationship or The Magnificent (God and God is love). To the extent that a couple truly loves as God loves, their lives become “magnificent.” They are justified by Jesus love on the cross. As they surrender to Jesus sacrificial love, they love each other and others as God loves.

    The lyrics of “I give you back my voice” don’t seem to fit in the context of a man’s love for a woman since he didn’t get his voice from her. They only seem to fit in the context of giving his voice back to the one who created him with such a voice.

    The lyics below also only seem to fit if
    The Manfiicent is referring to God

    Justified till we die
    You and I will magnify
    The Magnificent
    Magnificent
    Magnificent

    One last thought:: a man and woman in love with Christ and each other do spend their lives “holding on to each other and trying to turn their life into worship” of The Magnificent – Father, Son and Holy Spirit

    Like

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