Psalm 145:3 “Great is the Lord! He is most worthy of praise! No one can measure His greatness.”
When I was a young girl my father traveled to different Methodist churches to preach. Usually these were small country churches, steeped in southern traditions of family and food. It was a guarantee that after service there would be a great feast laid out by all the women of the congregation. Mouth watering fried chicken, warm from the oven biscuits dripping with butter and molasses, fresh snap peas cooked in bacon fat (no health nuts in those days!).
Another well loved part of the traveling pastor was the music they brought with them. My father was especially gifted with this blessing. My favorite was hearing him sing How Great Thou Art. His rich voice filled the rafters of these small sanctuaries. There was no need for sound boards or technical crews, lights or stage hand. Even at 5 years old, I felt the stirring of the Holy Ghost in my heart when he sang that song. Those old hymns were, and still are, such a powerful way to bring scripture to life.
Don’t get me wrong. I love the praise and worship music of today. It fills my heart with so much joy and keeps me on an even keel when I am struggling to make it through an especially difficult day. It plays in my car, in my home, on my phone. It is what I turn to when I can’t stop what I am doing and pick up a Bible to reset my soul. But the words of those old hymns can really bring me to a deeper place of peace and reflection.
I can close my eyes and hear my father’s voice as the words poured forth. “Oh Lord My God, when I in awesome wonder, consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made. I see the stars I hear the rolling thunder, Thy power throughout the universe displayed. Then sings my soul, My Savior, God to Thee. how Great Thou art, how Great Thou art. Then sings my soul, my Savior, God to Thee, how Great Thou Art, how Great Thou art.”
Dearest Adonai, We come before You during this chaotic time of year. We try so hard to remember that this holiday is for Your Son, our Brother, Christ Jesus. Yet the pull of commercialism and worldly goods is so alluring. Please let us stop today and hear the words that bring peace to our soul Let us be in awe of Your magnificence. We pray for Your mercy to cover us as we seek out those who need You in this broken world. Let our smiles be genuine and our hearts be full of love and forgiveness. Let not one day of the past intrude upon the gift of today that You have blessed us with. In the name of Christ Jesus, Amen