A recent, widely shared tweet says, “Honestly, I hadn’t planned on giving up quite this much for Lent.”
Last week, I was in the doctor’s office with a sick kid. My son had a HIGH fever, so he was not acting like himself. I knew he was sick because he was cuddled up in my lap as opposed to exploring everything around us. With his fever-flushed head on my chest, I found myself singing to him.
I have a confession to make: We do not pray at home, as a family, with any regularity. There, I said it.
The venerable hymn “All My Hope on God Is Founded” in our Hymnal 1982 offers more than one gem in its verses, but I love looking around every time we sing the above line in a church. “Pleasure leads us where we go.”
When is it okay to start listening to Christmas music? This is not a trick question—I am not the worship police, but I am very aware that we Christians can be particularly judgy about music. For years, I, too, did not want to acknowledge Christmas music in Advent, not least because I love Advent and its hymns (“Comfort, Comfort Ye My People!”).
This song tells us a very important story, like most songs do. It comes from the heart of God’s people, from across thousands of years, and still means something holy and hopeful every single time we sing it. With titles and word pictures taken from the prophet Isaiah’s conversations about the Messiah, we see all the ways Jesus has come to reconcile the world to himself. Each verse reminds us of a different promise God has bought into being, has made come true, in the person of Jesus.
All of the snippets of scripture that we hear in worship and sing in hymns “count” in my children’s Christian education.