No, the new Coldplay album does not actually mention Paul’s epistle to the Philippians (though some imaginative discussions have linked the new Viva la Vida songs to biblical themes of war, revolt, and power). But, I was struck when I heard the lyrics to the song called ‘LOST’. The first line is: ‘Just because I’m losing, doesn’t mean I’m lost’. In my reckoning, this could very well be an excellent way of summing up the message of Philippians. In Philippians, Paul is in prison, his Messiah/king/lord was crucified on a cross (which was a Roman way of saying ‘You LOSE’) and Epaphroditus looks like something death coughed up (never mind the Philippians themselves who are struggling). So, from one perspective, the Philippians may be begging the question to Paul: have we bet on the wrong horse? Have we lost? Have you lost? Paul’s answer is: there is a difference between losing and being lost. Neither are they the same, nor does the former necessarily lead to the latter. In fact, losing may have something to do with being ‘found’. The capacity to understand these things, I think, will aid one in re-reading Philippians and seeing that loss and gain are not what they used to be this side of new creation.
Thank you Coldplay….
(disclaimer: I am not using good exegetical method to interpret Coldplay’s song, as I don’t think the point of the song as a whole is along these lines. So, this is a bit of lectio divina if you will!)