Accidentally Lutheran lyrics: When a popular artist or songwriter, probably by pure accident, gives expression to the Christian faith in keeping with Lutheran confession.
“It seems that all my bridges have been burned.
But you say,’that’s exactly how this grace thing works’
It’s not the long walk home that will change this heart,
But the welcome I receive with every start.”
SONG: Roll Away Your Stone
ARTIST: Mumford & Sons
The Welcome I Receive:
During the time of year called Lent, the Church fixes its gaze on Jesus’ Passion — His suffering. It’s a difficult gaze for us in many ways. Jesus becomes the fulfillment of His own words: the One despised and rejected by his own – full of sorrows and acquainted with grief (Isaiah 53:3). We listen as Jesus becomes the Innocent Lamb who goes quietly to slaughter (Isaiah 53:7). And our natural sense of fairness and equity winces as it comes to grips with the truth that what Jesus suffers, He suffers on our account.
We look at Jesus’ passion and our sense of justice can’t help but conclude, “All my bridges have been burned. I can’t expect anything good from Jesus. He just took every wicked thought I’ve ever had, every slanderous word I’ve ever spoken, every vile deed I’ve ever done and bled out for me! No bridges left there,” says fairness. But the Gospel speaks contrary to what’s “fair.” The Innocent One suffering the wrath of God for the guilty – “that’s exactly how this grace-thing works.”
This grace-thing is a real injustice. To have our eyes fixed to the Innocent Lamb dying for the guilty sheep is to have this sensation of injustice powerfully affected. It’s sort of like a “long walk home” through one’s own sin-filled life…while an innocent bystander pays the deadly tab. The guilty sensation one feels is very real. What it is not, is heart-changing. Guilt, while a real emotion, does not affect a new status of heart with God. Judas is the open-and-shut book on that matter.
We are guilty. What Jesus endured, we deserved. This seems to us a burned bridge. A long walk with sad face and a guilt-ridden conscience, though it is an honest emotion, doesn’t repair the breach between our hearts and God. But the breach is repaired nonetheless. It is repaired by God’s welcome.
The empty tomb is God the Father’s gracious welcome. “Welcome, sinner, to My family,” says God your Father. “The price paid on the cross is complete. Sin’s penalty, the sinner’s guilty tab — these are gone! Your status with Me is right. Welcome home!”
This wonderful welcome is attached to baptism. And that means baptism changes things. That’s right. While the moisture from your baptism has evaporated, the Easter welcome attached to it certainly has not. Baptism takes what Jesus did for the world and makes it for you. Baptism’s “for you” quality welcomes you into a newness of life. Baptism’s “for you” changes things because it places you in Jesus. This wonderful change means every day you wake up still baptized — still welcomed by the Father to live in the righteous record of His Son. The change is glorious. “It is finished” and “He lives.” Welcome Home!
Reverend Kyle Madson
Managing Editor, Lutheran Sentinel
Divine Mercy Lutheran Church
Hudson Oaks, TX