[grid blog :: Epiphany]
This is a sort of ad hoc end to the Advent grid blog, which Bob Carlton proposed only yesterday as a way of marking the end of the Christmas season. He writes, "In many traditions, [Jan 6] is the feast of Epiphany, which originated in the Eastern Church, centering upon three mysteries: (1) the incarnation, God's coming to us as Christ (2) the baptism of Jesus in the Jordan river and (3) Jesus' first miracle, the changing of water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Together these portray the way God manifested to the world in Christ." By the way, one of my very favorite hymns is designed around these "manifestation" mysteries plus another, the Transfiguration.
So, the theme is Epiphany, and instead of a song, I have a question. If you were trying to preach these themes using a U2 song, and began to look through texts in search of good Epiphany references, you'd probably notice that most seeming "manifestation" moments are often immediately turned inside out and their meaning revealed as idolatrous. U2 spiritual lyrics, when you read them, are much more likely to lament or denounce a situation that manifests God's absence than they are to celebrate God's presence. And yet, everyone associates U2 with transcendence and joy.
So how is it that a band who provide so many epiphany-experiences to people manage to do so while only very rarely writing, head-on, about unalloyed epiphanies? Talk amongst yourselves.