Sunday, March 11
Note: We asked our writers on Sundays to address the power of psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs in their lives.

While I’m sure that I sang “Happy Birthday” and various nursery songs in pre-school, the first real memory that I have of singing was at about age six in the children’s choir of my church. We sang “O Come, O Come Emmanuel,” and I was thrilled to be in my choir robe lifting my voice with the other children. I knew that I was praising God, but wondered who this Emmanuel could be. The words “and ransom captive Israel” were beyond my understanding. I remember learning quite a bit by asking about those words!

So for me, one of the thrills of singing and listening to sacred music is how that music focuses my mind on sacred concepts and truly brings them to life. Speaking the sacred Word provides a more powerful connection than simply reading it, and singing the Word is more powerful still!

A favorite hymn of mine is “O God, Our Help in Ages Past.” Based on the 90th Psalm, its verses describe the eternal majesty of our God, and God’s abiding love and attention to us. In contrast to God’s eternity is humanity’s fragile mortality: “Time like an ever rolling stream, soon bears us all away, we fly forgotten as a dream dies at the opening day.” Despite our ephemeral nature, we are assured that our loving God is protecting and guiding us, and will keep us in that Holy Presence always. When I sing these powerful words as a declaration of praise to our loving God, it opens my heart and my mind to these eternal truths.

Prayer: Lord Jesus, at this season of Lent, may we reflect on Your abiding love, and Your willingness to suffer crucifixion and death so that we might be saved and dwell with You forever. “O God, our help in ages past, our hope for years to come, be thou our guide while life shall last, and our eternal home.”

 – Kent Woods

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