Sometimes the Bible shows up when you least expect it.
On last night’s The Colbert Report, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis performed “Same Love,” a song off their 2012 album, The Heist, calling for equal rights for gay couples. It’s a deft piece of musicianship, with confessional lyrics and a nice gospel swell, and it suddenly, plaintively ends with a reference to 1 Corinthians 13:4.
To say Macklemore preached the text is probably too affirming. A brief exploration of his lyrics and various interviews suggests that his theology, such as it is, is a bit suspect. Yet there are good challenges in much of his music: to the homophobia of so much hip hop; to the materialism of contemporary culture; to the painful exclusivity of some branches of the official church. For a rapper to remind us on late-night television that “love is patient, love is kind” may be a bit trite, but it’s probably also necessary, considering how often we fail to live out those words.
What do you make of the performance? Is this a misappropriation of Scripture or an unorthodox way of God speaking to us? How might hearing the Gospel in unlikely contexts inform our faith?