Fling Wide the Door (ELW 259, focus on verse 3)
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
So often, we think of Advent as a season of waiting and anticipation: children wait for Christmas Day and all its goodies, adults wait for good times with family—or maybe even just wait for the season to be over with all of its excesses. This year, many of the scripture passages for Advent also bring in the dimension of hope and utter joy. The hymn “Fling Wide the Door” brings to mind people throwing open front doors in large welcoming gestures, with greetings to neighbors and long inhales of fresh, cool air. There is hope that the new “true king” will bring real and lasting changes to the status quo. The “happy towns” and “blessed lands” suggest that with the coming of Jesus Christ the Savior, changes are afoot—changes that will make people’s lives noticeably better.
Dear God, give us eyes to see all the ways in which we are blessed. Give us the courage this season to open our doors not only to your presence but to the needs and gifts of our neighbors. In your Holy Spirit we pray, Amen.