Thursday, 31 March 2011

Mumford and Sons - Sigh No More

After re-listening to this album recently I thought I would write a few blog posts about some of the lyrics from the songs.
As a debut album I think it is fantastic. I know that the band have a Christian background, I don't know where they all stand in terms of faith in Jesus, but that is not going to be the point of these posts.
I want to try and engage with some of the ideas that come out, and try to show, with my limited wisdom, how they could be used to engage in fruitful gospel conversations.

So, without further ado, the opening track is the title track, "Sigh No More."

Serve God, love me and mend
This is not the end
Live unbruised, we are friends
I'm sorry

Sigh no more, no more
One foot in sea and one on shore
My heart was never pure
You know me

But man is a giddy thing
Oh man is a giddy thing

Love it will not betray you
Dismay or enslave you, it will set you free
Be more like the man you were made to be

There is a design, an alignment, a cry
Of my heart to see
The beauty of love as it was made to be

What I find interesting are little references such as "my heart was never pure" and being "more like the man you were made to be." These are both things Christians can totally get on board with.
We know that everyone is fallen, we most certainly do not have pure hearts. Jesus made that clear in Mark 7, it is out of men's heart that sin comes. The old saying that the heart of the human problem is the problem of the human heart. We know we can't live up to our own standards never mind God's and not matter how hard we try we can't give ourselves a pure heart. We need a heart transplant, we need to pray with David in Psalm 51 "create in me a pure heart, O God."

But what about the real emphasis on love in the song. Love we are told will not betray, enslave or dismay, but it will set us free. That is a popular thought in many places, is it not? Many Hollywood chick flicks present this idea of finding the right person solving all of life's problems, or bringing true fulfilment.

Can love do this?
Does love never let you down? Does love never betray, dismay or enslave?

In our experience love does let us down. Relationships break down, family members let us down, and some relationships are totally enslaving, because the person they are "in love with" becomes their idol!

If we define love the way the Bible does (1 Cor 13:4-7; 1 John 4) and we see that "God is love" (1 John 4) we can affirm that love will not betray, dismay or enslave, but truly does set up free as human beings. The love of God displayed in the gospel truly does set us free from slavery to sin, it frees us to be the people we were created to be. When a person accepts the love of God shown at the cross and repents, they become more fully human, and the Holy Spirit continues to make them more and more like Jesus each day. Jesus after all was the perfect human being. He shows us the real way to be human.

The final thing I want to draw out of this song is the design, alignment and cry that the band say comes from the heart to see the beauty of love the way it was meant to be. I may well be reading too much into it, but does that not echo the fact that the Bible says God has "...put eternity into man's heart..." (Ecc 3:11)
There is something inside every human being which they suppress (Romans 1:18-32) and try to hide away that longs for something more than this world, something eternal, God. God is Trinity, Father, Son and Holy Spirit in perfect loving relationship. That is where we see the beauty of love the way it was meant to be. The beauty of the Trinity is supremely attractive.

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