Tuesday, October 20, 2009

In Praise of a Monday

Some people dread Mondays - and I get it - I used to. But every Monday I get to go to Bible study with this fantastic group of women at All Souls in Wheaton where I attend church.  We've been working on Beth Moore's study on King David called A Heart Like His, which is pushing us to look at our lives through the clarifying lens of Scripture.  The viewpoint this gives me is sometimes uncomfortable, however this happens in a wonderful circle of comfort and support and it helps me to live better.  We pray for each other and share each others' burdens and joys. 

Yesterday we did something that was totally unplanned and utterly lovely.  We went upstairs to watch the video portion of the lesson only to find that the projector wasn't working with the VCR.  So, given the gift of a suddenly open half an hour, we decided to sing. We are blessed to have, in our company, a couple of gifted pianists/organists, one of whom played several hymns for us. 

We ended with the hymn This is My Father's World.  When we were at our old church, a church battling within and without, the verse of this hymn that says "and though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the Ruler yet." would play in my head every time I went there.  It reminded me that God is in control, and, no matter what we are going through, that He is sovereign.  It also served to focus me on the reality that my job was to remain in the Word and to love my neighbors and not to despair.

And reveling in the hymns we'd sung yesterday morning brought me to thinking about how much I like the music at All Souls.   When we first started at this church I remember thinking I'd like some music written after, say, 1845.   I had an hour long chat about it with our pastor and about 45 minutes into the conversation, I decided I'd lost and now I'm glad I did. While I like contemporary Christian music, so much of it is about people's reactions to God, rather than about God.  The theology embedded in what we get to sing on a Sunday morning - or a Monday by surprise - is so deep.  We have these old hard bound hymnals that came from a church in Canada. I'm sure there's some story attached to how we got the hymnals;  I'll have to ask at some point.  

But yesterday morning, singing with the women, standing around the piano by the altar, where we got the books from wasn't the point.  We raised our voices in spontaneous worship to God.  Singing the songs that our parents and our grandparents before them sang, some of which were penned before their parents were born.   The quaint, familiar songs that tell of our loving, majestic and sovereign Lord.  Words that were true then, are true now, and will be true when our grandchildren sing them.  

It was a great Monday.


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