There is a band that you may or may not have heard of… I mean, they are kinda popular, their name is Mumford & Sons. Heard of ’em? Yeah, I figured you’d say no… Well, they sing a song called “Roll Away Your Stone” and I’m going to use it to support my current reading of 1 John. If you have never heard this song, I suggest you take a few minutes and watch the music video, listen closely to the words of the song and really connect with the struggle that Marcus Mumford is sharing… it’s one we can all relate with.
Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine
Together we can see what we can find
Don’t leave me alone at this time,
For I am afraid of what I will discover inside
What does this song actually have to do with 1 John? That’s a great question, and I’m glad you asked! The overall theme that I get out of 1 John at this moment in my life is, FREEDOM. Freedom from darkness, sin, and deception, because “the life was made manifest”! When most of us think of 1 John, we are drawn to three words that are very popular amongst Christians and non-Christians… “God is love…”, words that mean nothing unless you let them roll away your stone. * Explanation* The words, “God is love” obviously have meaning, a very deep and profound meaning, a life changing meaning, a meaning that has shifted the entire universe and all of eternity, however, if you and I do not let these words impact us at the core and literally change our DNA versus simply our actions, then we have stripped away what the words actually mean for us individually.
Roll away your stone, I’ll roll away mine. Together we can see what we will find… Don’t leave me alone at this time, for I’m afraid of what I will discover inside! I love when I can write out lyrics as if they are an entry in my journal, and these fall into that category! How many times have you been at the place where you want so deeply to know the ins and outs of someones heart [this is not limited to a romantic interest], the beautiful disaster that is the human heart? You make your interest known with words similar to these lyrics, that this person would let you in, and you could go through it together, an open invitation for vulnerability… The breakdown is when we are fully willing to walk inside someones dark tomb, even if we have to slide in a small crack that’s been made between the tomb wall and the stone, but then, it is our turn and we are so afraid that the other person won’t be able to handle what lies behind our stone. Truth be told, some of us have more disaster than beauty and others have more beauty than disaster, which may be an issue of perspective, but nonetheless, “more” is no longer applicable when we are exposed to grace. Another truth is that the disaster only becomes more repulsive as it stays hidden in darkness and decomposes within the damp, cold tomb, and the beauty can only be fully appreciated when light shines on it and the specific details are carved from a marble silhouette.
In a poor excuse for research, [a 30 second google search] I found one website that estimates the stone which sealed Jesus’ dead body to weigh somewhere between 3,000 and 4,000 pounds [1,361 – 1,814 kilos]. Let’s for a second assume that this website has completely exaggerated the numbers by doubling them… that still puts the weight of this particular stone at 1,000 – 2,000 pounds. Although I may be reaching a little bit, I believe there to be a common point between the stone at Jesus’ tomb and the stone we have rolled in front of our hearts. This 3,000 pound stone was sealed to the mountain [tomb] and protected by Roman soldiers, who probably looked more like 1st century Arnold Swarchenegger’s and Lou Ferrigno’s than they did Gerard Butler in 300 for a dual purpose, to keep death and darkness held captive and to keep what is inside from being exposed to the public. Unfortunately for death and darkness, the stone was rolled away, which let light in and allowed life to walk out.
The darkness is a harsh term don’t you think?
And yet it dominates the things I seek
This lyric really became real to me when I read it in context w/ 1 John 1:6-7, which says, “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth. But if we walk in the light, as He is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus cleanses us from all sin.” My goodness, if we walk in the light, vulnerable with our hearts, open with our stories, and exposed to the world… we would have an authentic, love for and desire to be with one another! These words are written out of experience for me… I am free. I literally have zero secrets. I am not afraid of needing to hide anything or being found out [b/c I have nothing to hide anymore]. I have accepted the disaster with the beauty, and I no longer have to seek a life in darkness, because I have rolled away my stone and allowed light to detail every dark place in what used to be my tomb, but is now a home of light, life and love!
Roll away your stone and let the light [Jesus] reside within your heart… Each and every one of us want to experience intimate relationships with other humans, and I can tell you from experience that you won’t actually be able to get there until you rip your heart wide open and die to the fear of your story! If you aren’t sure where to start, I have a couple suggestions…
- Write out the darkest and deepest to yourself first… own the truth that these things are a part of your story and go through the process of really accepting this fact.
- Visit AVulnerableLife.com and take an opportunity to write ANYTHING you want in a forum that allows you to remain anonymous.
- Think about your most reliable friend, which may or may not be your “best” friend, and start by telling them one thing that is kinda uncomfortable to verbally express and ask them to share the same experience with you.
- If you would like more insight into this process, please feel free to email me and I will help you roll away your stone in any way I can.