Fling Wide the Door (ELW 259, focus on verse 1)
1 Fling wide the door, unbar the gate;
the King of glory comes in state;
the Lord of lords and King of kings,
the Savior of the world who brings
his great salvation to the earth.
So raise a shout of holy mirth
and praise our God and Lord,
Creator, Spirit, Word.
2 He is the rock of our belief,
the heart of mercy’s gentle self.
His kingly crown is holiness;
his scepter is his loveliness;
he brings our sorrows to an end.
Now gladly praise our king and friend,
and worship him with song
for saving us from wrong.
3 Oh, happy towns and blessed lands
that live by their true king’s commands.
And blessed be the hearts he rules,
the humble places where he dwells.
He is the rightful Son of bliss
who fills our lives and makes us his,
creator of the world,
our only strength for good.
4 Come, Lord, our Savior, Jesus Christ;
our hearts are open wide in trust.
Oh, show us now your lovely grace,
upon our sorrows shine your face,
and let your Holy Spirit guide
our journey in your grace so wide.
We praise your holy name,
from age to age the same!
Text: Georg Weissel, 1590-1635; tr. Gracia Grindal, b. 1943
Text © 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship, admin. Augsburg Fortress.
Reprinted under OneLicense.net #A730924
“Fling wide the door!” The opening lines from our hymn paint a picture of exuberant, radical welcome. There is no hesitation as if opening the door by just a crack to see who might be ringing the doorbell. The writer is joyfully and fully opening the house, town, or perhaps even their heart to receive the beloved guest. We can only do that in a state of unconditional love and trust of the one who is arriving. As I work with people, leaders, and congregations, it isn’t uncommon that I sense a hesitancy in opening the door to Jesus, a concern that one might be seen as weak, or wrong, or less intelligent if they lean into their faith and trust this mysterious relationship. As you imagine the opportunity to welcome Jesus into your home or community, how would you open the door?
Jesus, you welcome us fully into your kingdom and your presence. As we prepare for your arrival, may we find ways to learn about you, lean into your hopes for humankind, and open the door widely to welcome all that you have to offer us. Amen.