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Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Mumford and Sons: Roll Away Your Stone

Mumford and Sons is not like The Script.  
The Script writes resonating, emotional songs circling around questions. They ask important questions that are currently haunting the post-Christian nations of the world. They don't speak for their souls only when "praying to a god that I don't believe in" and ask "is there anybody there?" The group reminds me of Whitman's Noiseless Patient Spider, casting out filament after filament of themselves in hopes of feeling them catch somewhere. Unresolved longing characterizes their major themes.    
(For a more in-depth look at the redemptive qualities of The Script, check out this link. http://thingsthataremade.wordpress.com/2012/08/23/the-script/)
Mumford and Sons is not that band. 
They ask tough questions and suspend judgment and allow for other interpretations and all that politically correct jargon. But at heart and soul, Mumford isn't throwing open ended questions down a dark hole. They are lowering ropes and hitting solid ground. By that I mean that they don't avoid uncomfortable topics, but they don't leave listeners in the dark either. 
Their song Roll Away Your Stone is a particularly compelling picture of grace. 
The narrator exposits his vulnerability and the conflict begins. 
How could I not recognize the "hole within the fragile substance of my soul" and that "I have filled this void with things unreal?" This is my testimony. 
But as Mumford reminds me, there is grace enough for this. And to my great relief, it is not law-driven moralism that gives me answers, because "It's not the long walk home that will change this heart, but the welcome I receive with every start." The biblical reference to the prodigal son draws a line between the hopeless wondering and the hopeful knowing. Secure grace gives me solid ground to stand on so I can become that "newly impassioned soul" that finishes out the song. 
But I'm cheating now in my cultural reviews, since I just picked an easy song.  Redeem a song about redemption, why don't I?  (Check out, also, their new song "Lover of the Light." The music video is an experience in waking sleeping dragons inside yourself.)
Forgive me, but when grace is hidden everywhere I can't help but enjoy a clearer picture from time to time. I now propose a toast to Mumford and Sons, the English voice for light and grace and love. 

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