Les Mis and U2

Read: Matthew 3:1-21

The Bible should always be our first source for answers when the big questions of life arise.  It has the uncompromisable wisdom of God that is for all people.  But just like Nicodemus in Matthew 3 our world is often on a journey of discovering God’s truth and God’s plan for their lives.

We sometimes see that in our culture in interesting ways.  Two examples that came to my mind this week are the musical Les Miserables and the Irish rock band U2.  Both of these are great examples of secular artists in search of larger answers to life.

In Les Miserables (which is now a movie in theatres) the original French author Victor Hugo wrote his story in 1862 about the many struggles, evils, triumphs, and stories of grace and redemption that so often surround us in this world.  Many of those cause us to ask and consider important ideals such as justice, grace, and forgiveness that find their home in the words of scripture.

The music group U2 also uses the art of music to search for answers and provided insights on many themes found in the teachings of Christ and in the Bible as a whole.  One of their songs entitled “Grace” has a very powerful chorus that says….

“What once was hurt, What once was friction, What left a mark
No longer stings, Because grace makes beauty out of ugly things.”  Other songs ask difficult questions that remind us of Nicodemus’ search for Jesus and his questions such as “how can a man be born again when he is old?”

You see Nicodemus was a member of the Jewish ruling council, he was not suppose to be hanging out with Jesus in the dark and asking these important questions, but yet he wanted to know.  As we go through life it helps us to ask difficult questions and seek the truth.

We know that truth is found in God’s Word and in the life of Christ.  It’s encouraging to know that even secular culture can’t hide from that.  Not all things in this world are of redeeming quality, not all things help us to ponder God’s work in our world, but when it does we can step back and appreciate that the themes of God’s story are truly evident and important to us all.

Make it personal:  As you watch television, movies, and read books be looking for themes of God’s story in them.  Grace, forgiveness, justice, redemption, searching, finding, overcoming evil.  Perhaps these themes in pop culture are ways that you can engage your friends in a dialogue about faith in Jesus Christ?  The one true answer!

Have a great week,
Glen Rhodes, Minister of Discipling and Community Life, Arthur Mennonite Church