Where the Streets Have No Name (part 1)

We’re doing a teaching series at LifePoint Church When Love Comes to Town which, while inspired by something done by another big and hip church, I am very excited about.  It uses U2 songs and themes as a launch pad for an advent-like series.  I’ll be teaching on the 28th, and am using Where The Streets Have No Name as inspiration.  So I thought I’d lay out some concepts that are bouncing around in my head right now, and invite you to share in the “aha!” moments of discovery between now and then.  My hope is that you would share this journey over the course of a few posts and join (for those of you LifePoint people at least) us for the final experience together on the 28th (which I expect to be a super high turnout since it’s a few days after Christmas Eve, and a few days before New Years!).

First, if you want to see the song live in concert you can watch this great clip:

Also here are the complete lyrics for the song:

I wanna run, I want to hide
I wanna tear down the walls
That hold me inside.
I wanna reach out
And touch the flame
Where the streets have no name.

I wanna feel sunlight on my face.
I see the dust-cloud
Disappear without a trace.
I wanna take shelter
From the poison rain
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name.

We’re still building and burning down love
Burning down love.
And when I go there
I go there with you
(It’s all I can do).

The city’s a flood, and our love turns to rust.
We’re beaten and blown by the wind
Trampled in dust.
I’ll show you a place
High on a desert plain
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name
Where the streets have no name.

We’re still building and burning down love
Burning down love.
And when I go there
I go there with you
(It’s all I can do).

And wrapping up the background, a quote from lead singer Bono on the song, from U2.com:

‘Where the Streets Have No Name is more like the U2 of old than any of the other songs on the LP, because it’s a sketch – I was just trying to sketch a location, maybe a spiritual location, maybe a romantic location. I was trying to sketch a feeling. I often feel very claustrophobic in a city, a feeling of wanting to break out of that city and a feeling of wanting to go somewhere where the values of the city and the values of our society don’t hold you down.
‘An interesting story that someone told me once is that in Belfast, by what street someone lives on you can tell not only their religion but tell how much money they’re making – literally by which side of the road they live on, because the further up the hill the more expensive the houses become. You can almost tell what the people are earning by the name of the street they live on and what side of that street they live on. That said something to me, and so I started writing about a place where the streets have no name….’

“Coincidentally” (I think it’s no coincidence) I have been reading in the New Testament book of 1 Peter, and the song and this reading have totally clicked for me and so I will using 1 Peter (I think) for the 28th.  I also have connected a unifying theme (which I’ll share in the next post) within the song, 1 Peter, and Jesus as the long-awaited Jewish and global Messiah.  This sounds really broad, but if you stick with me, I’ll show you how it ties together, and how fitting a Christmas message it is too.  To do this I’ll need to paint a picture of a theme that shows up again and again through the Old Testament Scriptures and is repeated again through Jesus.  Second I want to show how Peter (one of Jesus’ closest followers) writes to early believers urging them to lifestyles which embraces this theme. And lastly I’ll ask some questions about how we as Jesus followers apply Peter’s instructions to our livesn today.

So, enjoy the great clip above (if you haven’t already), and if you want to take a wild ride join me for the next few posts. I expect to take 3 more posts, one on each of the 3 parts I mentioned above, but might take a little longer if necessary to at least scratch the surface on part one.

If I can help even one of you to pause and think big and grateful thoughts about Jesus during this Christmas season, I will be truly happy.

3 thoughts on “Where the Streets Have No Name (part 1)

Add yours

  1. Wow! I am excited about this Micah. I have always liked this song and never knew what was being said. I like the comment Bono said about how he came up with this song. That’s so cool! I have also had similar feelings but they never went beyond, just a thought.
    I can’t wait to learn more!
    I love having revelations!

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