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THE MUMFORD AND SONS COMMUNION LITURGY

This is a wee liturgy I put together for our Sunday morning communion at Fitzroy Presbyterian Church based around the Mumford and Sons song Roll Away The Stone...

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There is a theological gem stealing past the dragons at the door of radio, television, internet and music press just now. From a band out of London called Mumford and Sons come economical, poetic couplets of devastating spiritual potency -

“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 the restart”

It is a succinct definition, in pop song, of the crux of what makes Christianity unique. It is not what you do on the road to recovery that can change your heart; it is God’s welcome of grace at the restart. God loves us first. It is his act of love that redeems the lost cause. It is unmerited. It is unconditional. It is offered without need for a prior effort to sort it out. The welcome itself sorts it out and the efforts that follow are different as a result! Almost too good to be true. Definitely the only hope for the humans that the Mumford boys call “giddy things” (well the men anyway!), hearts that are “never pure” and souls that have “fragile substance.”

This table, Christ’s table, in this sacrament that remembers his death is our welcome. It is a symbol of Christ’s self giving act that releases the potential of grace but more than that. There is something mysterious about this act that cleanses and strengthens, that changes our heart. If you lean in and listen you will hear that welcome, as Jesus said to the disciples in Matthew 11 v 28-30 - Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." It’s God whispering, “come on in... take off your coat... take the weight off your soul... let me wash your feet...”

And in that welcome... by grace through the work of Jesus... the restart...

PRAYER

Lord, we come to you as Jesus did that very first last Supper

To give you our thanks

Thanks for this bread and this wine that we will take to remember

To remember that he who was first became last

So that we who should have been last could become first

Not because we took a long walk to work out our recovery

But because you welcome us into your love

That are not just words spoken

But actions of love demonstrated

Lord God we give you thanks

 

And Lord we seek forgiveness

For the bridges we have burned

Lord as we come towards your welcome

We remember the bridges burned

Bridges of justice across the world

Bridges of reconciliation across this city

Bridges of community around the neighbourhood

Bridges of the body here in your Church

Bridges of friendship in our closest circles

Bridges of family nuclear and extended

Bridges in our own psyche

Bridges towards you

Forgive us

Change our hearts

In this act of welcome...

AMEN

 

THE SACRAMENT – we played Pierce Pettis’s song You Did That For Me

 

THE RISING PRAYER

God we have enjoyed your welcome

We have languished in it

And so we rise

To continue in the heart of your welcome

To go and take the long road home

Believing that as we travel towards home

Home often comes to meet us on the road

As we go

Help us to be bridge builders

In our world

In our city

In our community

In our Church

In our family

In our souls

In our relationship with you

We pray that this welcome will have changed our hearts...

In Jesus name

AMEN

 

 

Comments

Andy Rogers

Amazingly (or maybe not-so) just as I was listening to Mumford & Sons Roll Away Your Stone on Spotify my RSS feed notified me of this post!

John Norris

Some great taughts, that of restart, a new beging. The repentant heart, reminds me of the tragic story of Jonah. Who did not want to see the Grace of God come to Nineveh. Jonah 3:10 God saw there repentant heart and lifes and had mercy on them 120,000 souls. Chapter 4 it's all about the sad story of Jonah going off to have a pitty party. Jonah did not ask for forgiveness, no printed repentance, I looked for chapter 5 but could not find it. A sad day when we come to the Lord's Table and not remember, what Jesus did for us at the cross. Where love and grace were pour out on us. Keep up the good work.

Supra Shoes

Your article is wonderful,can you tell me how did you do it?

Suzy Bower

This is brilliant, thank you! I used this song the other week as part of a service on the prodigal son. I spend a lot of time thinking of this kind of thing, so I think your site will be very useful for me! Thanks for sharing.
By the way, you may be interested in my post about using chart music in a youth group session:

http://suzybower.wordpress.com/2010/01/20/some-people-think-im-bonkers/

Blessings,
Suzy

vigilon

My heart is touched with your works. Hope you keep this good acts forever.

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Very interesting

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Temporary Staff

These are very beautiful and inspiring prayers.

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The ghost towns of China: Amazing satellite images show cities meant to be home to millions lying deserted

Christopher

Yeah except if you listen to the rest of the song the protagonist is explaining that he tried Christianity and finds that his desires are to be followed. He also implies that to call his desires dark are pure arrogance and the climax of the song is when he takes his soul back from Jesus Christ and finds his new personally captivated soul much more to his liking. So here you have a group of artists who perfectly understand the faith and have chosen to trade it in for their own dark desires. Can't wait for the next liturgy inspired by Luciferian pop songs.

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