Now Sings My Soul

January 18, 2013 at 7:28 pm 2 comments

Ingram Publishing

Ingram Publishing

I wasn’t planning to publish another post this week, but I just returned from a funeral service for a 52 year old member of my church, a father of two who died of leukemia after a few months of attempted treatments leading to cardiac complications.

I remember with a shudder that I once, in my rebellious younger years, would have sat at such a Christian service with my mind slammed shut, harboring a cold heart and refusing to participate in hymn-singing or prayer recitations.  Turning away, in other words, from the very sustenance that my angry, hungry soul was starved of.  And how I hated weddings back then, with their ritual and scripture readings and rosy expectations.  If I couldn’t avoid one, I would sit in the pew in recoiled posture, like a vampiress confronted with a bouquet of garlic, hawthorne, and wild rose.

When funerals or weddings take place in our humble sanctuary these days, I can’t help but glance around at the faces of the crowd and wonder how many of them are not participating because the words are unfamiliar, and how many are hunched behind a wall of resistance.  My prayer, always, is that the legacy of the departed believer’s faith will soften stony hearts and open narrowed minds to the full peace and comfort to be gained by accepting the balm of God’s Word.

The opening hymn for today’s service says it better than I could ever hope to.

What a Friend We Have in Jesus

Text: Joseph M. Scriven, 1820-1886
Music: Charles C. Converse, 1832-1918

What a friend we have in Jesus,

all our sins and griefs to bear!

What a privilege to carry

everything to God in prayer!

O what peace we often forfeit,

O what needless pain we bear,

all because we do not carry

everything to God in prayer.

Have we trials and temptations?

Is there trouble anywhere?

We should never be discouraged;

take it to the Lord in prayer.

Can we find a friend so faithful

who will all our sorrows share?

Jesus knows our every weakness;

take it to the Lord in prayer.

Are we weak and heavy laden,

cumbered with a load of care?

Precious Savior, still our refuge;

take it to the Lord in prayer.

Do thy friends despise, forsake thee?

Take it to the Lord in prayer!

In his arms he’ll take and shield thee;

thou wilt find a solace there.

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Entry filed under: Advice For Life, People of Faith and Courage. Tags: , , , , , .

Breaking Through the Winter Fog Poet Unaware

2 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Craig  |  January 18, 2013 at 8:53 pm

    52 is so young. When we attend a funeral it puts everything in perspective. We just have to remember that when we leave.

    Reply
  • 2. Keith Wissman  |  January 19, 2013 at 12:51 am

    I desperately miss the old hymns which are scripture set to music. Even though some of the current praise music is good, most of it is vacuous “happy-clappy”.

    I too view funerals a bit differently now especially when the deceased is my age or younger. Two weeks ago we went to a service for the young adult daughter of a former coworker and friend who adopted her a few months before we adopted our two girls. I kept scanning the young faces who were in shock and profound grief. It saddens me that the vast majority are oblivious to the gift that Jesus and His Word provides. I pray for open hearts and minds.

    Reply

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Recipe. According to Encarta, "a list of ingredients and instructions for making something." The thesaurus offers the alternate terms, "formula, guidelines, directions, steps, technique."

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