Seeking Utopia in American Utopia
In David Byrne's show he leads eleven musicians all barefooted and dressed in the same matching grey suits creating an image of uniformity. A world of secular utopia. A world of secular unity. An exercise in which each musician carries his own musical instrument around on an austere stage.
"It makes us into a tribe, and we are very much a community that works together." /David Byrne
"Fans of David Byrne are used to his ability to elevate them to something that could be either joyfully menacing or pleasurably disorienting.
He has in recent years made it his mission to try to help people find happiness and he launched his online magazine "Reasons to be cheerful". In many ways "American Utopia" could be seen as rock therapy". /Rolling Stones/
American Utopia came on the stage in November 2019 and much has changed since then.
"we are all in this together" heard over and over today in a world pandemic.
Is this some kind of weird utopia? If so, whose utopia is it?
In 1516 Sir Thomas More wrote 'Utopia' from ancient Greek, translates as 'nowhere'
Some scholars have said that it is a place that represents the perfect society
I have more questions than answers
I am just the storyteller
Donald Grey Barnhouse speaks of the temptation of Eve:
"It was not evil within her that tempted her but the imagination of a good that was better than that which God had offered her. It was a temptation to Utopia, and every movement toward Utopia is always a Satanic temptation."
The utopia that is offered is nothing other than spiritual suicide.
In the middle of a pandemic what has the church to offer?
"He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and transferred us into THE KINGDOM of the Son He loves" /Colossians 1:13
As a young teenager coming into the church, I did not get this beautiful verse at all.
I was the one who had come from the dominion of darkness
No one else seemed to be needing rescuing
I was born outside the gate, an orphan brutalized
The dominion of darkness only applied to me
What were they rescued from?
They were all so much better then me
I was the outsider
They were the insiders
Did the word US apply to them too?
Can the church give the good news of the Kingdom if they do not know this simple truth?
"He has rescued US from the dominion of darkness"
There is no such thing as insiders or outsiders in His mighty Kingdom
That person on the street is US
Can we share the good news if we do not get it?
St Paul said He has rescued US
What a glory is that?
The Kingdom of God Mysterious described in Mathew 13
Hidden and yet Revealed
Given through the grace of God
It comes through bloodshed
The Kingdom will be Universal
It is not a prefabricated house
As the Son in heaven sends His Spirit to prepare His people
The Kingdom spreads
The Kingdom will have men and women of great diversity
No uniformity, great union of the Spirit
Some will be well spoken and well groomed
Some will be beggars, thieves, idolaters
The Kingdom is present
The Kingdom is future
Already and Not Yet
"I hear the voice of one calling
Prepare ye the way of the Lord
And make His paths straight in wilderness
And let your light shine in darkness
And let your rain fall in the desert
As sure as gold is precious and the honey is sweet
So, you love this city and you love these streets
Every child out playing by their own front door
Every baby laying on the bedroom floor
I can feel it in my spirit, feel it in my bones
You are going to send revival, bring them all back home
Revive us with your fire! /Robin Mark -Days of Elijah
He has rescued US from the dominion of darkness and transferred US into the Kingdom of the Son who loves