Today would be my dad’s 86th birthday and I love thinking about him. I love thinking about how much he adored Will and how he’d be so enthralled with our sons. I love thinking about how maybe I’m a tiny bit like him. One way I know I’m like him is that as brilliant as he was, song lyrics were not his forte. My mom, on the other hand, was a sponge for lyrics. She knew every verse to obscure hymns, and then marveled that others did not.
“You don’t know that one either?” she’d say. “Mmhh.”
She’d laugh about how my dad could hardly recall the words to even the most familiar hymns. I too am a consistent butcher of lyrics, but I do try harder with hymns. In fact, in the last year or so I’ve discovered a solution for this inherited defect: http://www.hymnal.net.
Just this morning I sat on my front porch and used this website to sing all the right words to “May the Mind of Christ My Savior” and “Jesus, Keep Me Near the Cross.” Do you ever get to behold the glory of a new morning and sing God’s praises alongside creation? I can tell you I’ve never once regretted carving out time to do so.
In Luke 19, in the midst of the triumphal entry into Jerusalem, the Pharisees tell Jesus, in essence, “Silence these people who are praising you.” Do you remember how He answers them? He says, “If they keep quiet, the stones will cry out.” (v. 40).
Do you think that still applies today? I do. Many times throughout Scripture we are commanded to sing our praises to the Lord. Are you obeying this command? Or are you leaving it up to the rocks? I am praying that I never keep quiet.
Obedience is a way in which we demonstrate our love for Jesus, but when we obey we often find an unexpected blessing. We may start to observe the Sabbath out of obedience, or to live according to God’s Word in some specific area, but we quickly find that instead of being a burden it’s spiritually, physically and emotionally beneficial. The same is true for singing God’s praises. You will be feeding truth into your life (See last week’s post, among others, for the importance of constantly and actively telling ourselves the truth).
So give hymnal.net a try. There are classics and newer songs too. I’d love to know a couple of your favorites. Maybe I’ll add them to my rotation, and I won’t even have to struggle like my dad with the lyrics!