Jesus, Mumford and Sons, and the Sermon on the Mount

by Edie Wadsworth on February 14, 2013

I’ve been in love with lyrics since I can remember.  I ALWAYS want to know the lyrics of a song.  That may be why I love historic hymns so much—they usually have a rich, depth of meaning that is missing in most modern music. When I hear a new song I love,  I usually Google the  lyrics and then argue with the screen about what the lyrics really say. Maybe it’s the romantic in me.  I’m a lover.  Good writing and good lyrics are my love language.

And don’t we often insert ourselves into the lyrics, somehow?  It’s hard to listen to a song that you love and not insert yourself into it.  The same thing naturally happens with scripture.  We hear the Sermon and the Mount and we start trying to figure out how pure and peace-making and merciful we are, so that we can ‘see God’ and ‘inherit the earth’.  The truth is, the Sermon on the Mount is fulfilled in Jesus, not us. He’s the one who’s poor in spirit, meek, merciful and pure in heart.  If we’re ever to be called Sons of God, it’ll because of His peacemaking, not ours.

That’s where Mumford and Sons comes in. (You knew they were be here on Valentine’s Day, right?)

I’ve decided that since I’m not into  most modern praise music, I’m adopting this as my official Lenten praise song.

I like to imagine Jesus is talking to God, His Father.  He’s anxious to ransom mankind but he waits, and tames His flesh and fixes His eyes, and does it all willingly and never forgets the Father’s kindness toward us on His Son’s behalf.

I can’t help but see Him everywhere, giving Himself over in love for His creation.

“Herein is love, not that we loved God but that He loved us.”

*************************

Mumford and Sons – I Will Wait – Grammys 2013 by IdolxMuzic

 

And I came home
Like a stone
And I fell heavy into your arms
These days of darkness
Which we’ve known
Will blow away with this new sun

And I’ll kneel down
Wait for now
And I’ll kneel down
Know my ground

And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

So break my step
And relent
You forgave and I won’t forget
Know what we’ve seen
And him with less
Now in some way
Shake the excess

But I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

So I’ll be bold
As well as strong
And use my head alongside my heart
So tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
That tethered mind free from the lies

But I’ll kneel down
Wait for now
I’ll kneel down
Know my ground

Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold
And bow my head
Keep my heart slow

Cause I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you
And I will wait, I will wait for you

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{ 28 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Southern Gal February 14, 2013 at 8:00 am

Your Lenten praise song? I like that, Edie.

I know your day will be full of love. Have a good one!

(My son is so excited that you found the Grammy’s performance. He loves this song. I looked for it the next day because I didn’t watch it and couldn’t find it.)

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2 Gina in Louisville February 14, 2013 at 9:06 am

I’ve never thought of this song in this way. It changes everything.

I love…
“Raise my hands
Paint my spirit gold”

I also love how these men sing and play with so much intensity.
(smile).

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3 Ruth February 14, 2013 at 9:27 am

Love this song, Edie. I love the way you view it as Jesus talking to God. A new perspective. Missed the Grammys but am glad to see them here.
Hugs :)

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4 Nancy February 14, 2013 at 10:14 am

I just bought this song before I even read your post! I love your perspective of it, and I’ve always thought of it as a reminder for me to wait on the Lord. HOWEVER, I bought it today as a love song for my husband who, #1 is always late. *grin* I do a lot of waiting. But also, because we dated 2.5 years before he ever mentioned marrying me or even loving me. It sounds like I’m really patient and long-suffering but I’m not. It’s just he’s pretty awesome and, well, it was pretty obvious how he felt. So, anyway, as a way of loving him, I wait. And sometimes he waits on me because finding the right shade of lipstick can be a big decision.

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5 Todd Rossnagel February 14, 2013 at 10:22 am

Edie – You are so right. I love Mumford and Sons as well. You are not alone in hearing this prodigal son narrative. I have put together a compilation of their music that speaks to the entire parable. When you have some time, check it out: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gpK-qukXTno&feature=share&list=UUkVCeqsKqFX1nAAWILspvhg

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6 Jennifer February 14, 2013 at 10:32 am

This post is so … *excessively* spot on, it took my breath away. I love this perspective on this song, and I will never hear it the same way again.

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7 cheryl @ finding the beauty February 14, 2013 at 10:41 am

This is great! I love Mumford and Sons and these lines are so good. Thanks for sharing!

Tame my flesh
And fix my eyes
That tethered mind free from the lies

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8 Petie February 14, 2013 at 11:33 am

Love this post. I’m a fan of M&S and I love that you opened my eyes to these lyrics in a whole new way. Thanks for the inspiration ;)

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9 Julia February 14, 2013 at 12:51 pm

How could I NOT click on a headline like that?! Two of my favorite things (Mumford and Sons, of course, taking a distant second to Jesus). I’ve been hesitating to listen to this new album of theirs; I was convinced nothing could top Sigh No More. Your post changes my perspective. Thanks.
As an aside, my grandmother (whom I loved dearly), lost her first husband (my grandpa) when he was only 35. Neither me nor my mother ever knew him. Together they lived through the depression in the deep south and were very much in love. The years both before and after him were very hard on my grandma, and she passed away last year at 91. When I hear “After the Storm,” I envision my grandpa singing it to her.
Certainly not as profound as Jesus talking to God, but I thought I’d share – mainly because I doubt I’ll ever again have a segue into that story lol! Lyrics are a beautiful thing.
Great post.

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10 Kristin @ bliss-athome.com February 14, 2013 at 2:26 pm

Edie, this is beautifully written! You said it perfectly :) xo Kristin
…and LOVE Mumford & Sons

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11 martha February 14, 2013 at 3:00 pm

I discovered Mumford & Sons and a new love for the old hymn ” Come Thou Font of Every Blessing” through your blog. I enjoy some new praise songs, but really do love the old hymns , especially when they are made new and fresh. Thank you dear!

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12 Tracey H. February 14, 2013 at 3:53 pm

So perfect for this Lenten season, Jesus and Mumford and Sons:0)!! Thank you for your perspective, so agree!!

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13 Christie February 14, 2013 at 4:39 pm

I just bought this song a couple of days ago. :)

Thanks for today’s post. You’re so encouraging.

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14 KTG February 14, 2013 at 4:41 pm

Agree with you on the praise music too. I found sufjan stevens songs for christmas and I love his version of holy,holy,holy. Don’t know how to explain but I prefer either a traditional hymn or pretty song with symbols I can interpret but without it sounding like christian rock. just the way I am.

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15 old welcome February 14, 2013 at 5:54 pm

Edie,

I share with you a love of lyrics. Searching for song lyrics is THE best thing about Google. I’ve decided that you know how to adopt a good song.

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16 sandy toe February 14, 2013 at 7:09 pm

I love those lyrics!! They were so good on tv!
sandy toes

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17 susan sinard February 14, 2013 at 11:40 pm

Edie ~ Absolutely no other music stirs my soul like Mumford and Sons does. I’ve always considered myself to be “lyrics” girl vs. a “melody” girl but with them I am definitely both. I love your interpretation. In a weird way, I do not want them to become too famous and mainstream for fear that they will sell out to the suits and lose their appeal.

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18 edie February 15, 2013 at 6:04 am

I know exactly what you mean, I feel the same way. I think it’s their struggle and doubt and wrestling with truth that resonates so much. Did you go to Fairfax? That would have been a roadtrip worth taking.
Much love!!

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19 Lindsay February 15, 2013 at 8:43 am

Edie, love this post today! I was so happy when I saw the title, “Jesus, Mumford and Sons, and the Sermon on the Mount.” I laughed out loud because many would think those things don’t go together, but I love Mumford and Sons and have always found spiritual inspiration in their songs.

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20 Judy @ A Meek Perspective February 15, 2013 at 11:50 am

I love the way your brain thinks. I, too, have loved this song and actually was curious about why it was written. I love you interpretation. Thanks!

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21 the farmer's wife February 15, 2013 at 1:57 pm

LOVE that!

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22 Kristen @ Joyfullythriving February 16, 2013 at 10:48 am

Beautiful! I need to listen to more Mumford and Sons. Great post, Edie!

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23 DeAnn Hein February 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm

When my husband Gregg first started listening to M & Sons (and then got me and my daughter Grace hooked on them) way before they were popular on pop radio, he thought most of their songs had some theology mixed in their lyrics.
What’s your opinion on “Timshel?” Gregg finds baptism in it. Such a beautiful song…

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24 Andreina February 17, 2013 at 7:19 pm

YOur post is like something I’ve been thinking about since I started listening to their music just about 3 months ago. I am also a lyrics searcher.. Everytime I like a song, I try to tap into the lyrics and understand what the songwriter is trying to say. Honestly, I mostly listen to Worship music, especially songs that deeply tap into my soul. I don’t like the popular Christian rock that they play on the radio, but I love Worship that truely connects me to the Heart of The Father. So, strangely in M&S songs, I have found this profound soul connection… Especially in this song “I will wait for You”. I can sing this song to our Heavenly Father and Jesus all day long… But that is just me :) of course… Also, the rest of their songs can speak to me in one way or another… I think most of their songs are just great! Lyrics and instruments. It is just great music!! Rare now and days. I saw them live at the Patriot Center last week, and I am so stoked I can’t stop playing their songs over and over.. :)Thanks for sharing!
Great Post

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25 Margaret February 17, 2013 at 10:06 pm

I’m not a contemporary praise music fan either. And it’s not just my training. I really feel that I need a separation between the outside world and the world of worship and church (not that I can’t worship anywhere, but that’s a different thing); some place and thing to change pace and focus.
Historically, popular music found it’s genesis in church music. I’m not sure how I feel about the roles being reversed. But I’m probably already a fuddy-duddy!

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26 Kate February 18, 2013 at 10:12 am

I have Mumford and Sons to thank for my renewed faith. I found them 3 years ago and immediately heard what they were saying in their lyrics. I have seen them in concert twice and they do not disappoint.

Roll Away Your Stone:
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 a restart.

This weekend I had a two hour drive home so Babel and Sigh No More was cranked up high. When I Will Wait came on my heart swelled and it was like I was at worship singing to Jesus. Reading this post makes me happy to see someone else appreciates them as much as I do. Thanks.

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27 Shelly February 26, 2013 at 4:34 pm

Ahhhh…thank you for this, Edie! I love Mumford & Sons as well, and this song is a favorite…and I’ll listen to it now…differently…how awesome!

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28 Todd March 5, 2013 at 7:40 pm

I think it’s really unfair of you to denigrate CC praise music. Why do we need intriguing and beautiful subtextual narratives that recapitulate our human experiences in a way that binds us to creation and Creator? Stories that hurt and move and lift and destroy creatively–and that challenge painfully? And melody? C’mon, simple, banal, repetitive 3-chord progressions are the fundamental basis of all praise music because it’s easy to remember and requires no actual engagement with the art. And simplistic, harrowingly cliched lyrics are just easier to swallow because they require no contemplation or friction that might require us to revaluate and grow. Plus, we can’t have an errant thought or chord progression in church because common grace is something we talk about but can’t practice. If it’s not “authentic” Christianized music, then it has no place in a church or worship service. Never mind that we’re not exposed to real emotion or pain or joy or ideas. It’s more important that we reinforce the power, narcotizing comfort and exclusionary sanctity of the Ghetto.

If our “music” were actually any good at all, it would be more popular than the music we listen to when we’re not in church.

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