I went to church this morning with Amy.  We listened to the minster talk about heaven on Earth and we sang about the Promised Land.  As we sang, the song immediately reminded me of one of my favorite Bruce Springsteen’s songs… ‘The Promised Land’, of course. 

WARNING: I’m about to get on my Bruce Springsteen soapbox.  

I came home from church and as I sat down to eat lunch and surf the internet, I came across an article on the Yahoo homepage.  It was about a preacher in Massachusetts who has recently written a book titled “The Gospel According to Bruce Springsteen”.  My eyes and ears perked up.  I clicked to read the article and I connected with it immediately.  This guy has been a fan of Bruce since Bruce’s career began.  And he always incorporates Bruce’s music in with his sermons.  I NEED to go to this church.  I’ve always felt a strong spiritual connection to Bruce and his music.  Going to see him in concert is a religious experience for me.  I come away feeling more in touch with God and life than going to a Sunday church service.  Music is part of my religion.  Elvis is my music god and Bruce is his disciple, spreading the message.  I know I sound crazy, but at least there is another person out there who feels the same way I do.

The biggest thing I take away from Bruce’s music is his declaration of hope in this world.  He isn’t a romantic, he sings of pain, troubles and how tough living in this world can be.  But, just as he brings you down singing about such honest things, he picks you right back up singing about hope, faith and love.  And he ends up leaving you feeling that you are in a higher place than before you listened to him.  Thats the best way I can explain it.  I’ve seen him three times live and each time he has literally moved me to tears.  How many people cry at a rock concert?  Its his presence, his energy and all of the emotions he brings to the surface through his music.  Its one of the best feelings I’ve ever had and one I can always go back to at any time.  I just have to turn him on.  Here’s a sample of the lyrics from ‘The Promised Land’:

“I’ve done my best to live the right way
I get up every morning and go to work each day
But your eyes go blind and your blood runs cold
Sometimes I feel so weak I just want to explode
Explode and tear this whole town apart
Take a knife and cut this pain from my heart
Find somebody itching for something to start

The dogs on Main Street howl
’cause they understand
If I could take one moment into my hands
Mister I ain’t a boy, no I’m a man
And I believe in a promised land

There’s a dark cloud rising from the desert floor
I packed my bags and I’m heading straight into the storm
Gonna be a twister to blow everything down
That ain’t got the faith to stand its ground
Blow away the dreams that tear you apart
Blow away the dreams that break your heart
Blow away the lies that leave you nothing but lost and brokenhearted”

Here’s a link to the NPR website with a 10 minute clip of the interview.  Give it a listen, its possible you may understand more of this crazy talk by hearing how the preacher explains it.  I’m heading out to buy the book.  I’ll let you know what I think…