The story ends with Cash singing with weakness and humility. It ends with God’s grace being perfected within him. It ends with him having solidarity with Jesus.
“Sunday Morning Coming Down” is our reality into which the good news of Jesus Christ is spoken. The story of the Gospel begins with the recognition that we are enslaved to the elemental spirits of this world. (Gal. 4:1-9). Not unlike the demonics in the Gospels (Matt. 8:28-34), drug addiction, or other non-God-centered behavior, is a matter of possession and ownership of the person by evil. As Paul argues, we are enslaved to the one that we obey. (Rom. 6:16). And within this condition of slavery, “I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I do.” (Rom. 7:19).
God is always found on the side of the oppressed, not because they are inherently better than the oppressor, but rather simply because they are oppressed. The challenge for us is to see the world as God sees the world. To see the world through the eyes of the Israelite slave or the Judean captive and not from the perspective of the Egyptian pharaoh or the conquering Babylonians.
The song uses the physical presence of Greystone Chapel as a metaphor for the vibrant spirituality that can be found within prison. It is a song about how a person’s mind who is aligned with Jesus can transcend his physical circumstances. In this way, the song echoes Paul’s observation that “where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom.” 2 Cor. 3:17.