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November 2014
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This iconic U2 song from the 1983 album War juxtaposes the violence of the Irish “troubles” in the form of a terrible bombing in Derry, Northern Ireland on Sunday, January 30, 1972 and the nonviolent death of Jesus whose resurrection on Sunday was God’s victory over violence and death.  Likewise, it has a strong now/not yet character, shouting the Psalmist’s “How long, how long must we sing this song” with an eschatological promise (drawn from Revelation 21) to the suffering remembering God will wipe all tears away.  It has served not only as an anthem for responding to violence in Ireland, but also various other conflicts around the globe, becoming a staple of U2′s live shows ever since.

Chris Scharen

 

 

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