Abide With Me
I have loved our Lenten Journey with Hymns. (A special thank you to Lynda for generously sharing her gifts.) Wednesday is our last gathering; Holy week we will share a special Maundy Thursday service.
Nadi Bolz-Weber tells the story of a young man who lived his life mostly for himself. As an adult he had little time for his mom. The man endured 100 days alone for a reality show, (and we think the 40 days of Lent are long). He kept thinking about his mom.
Somewhat like the prodigal we remembered last Sunday, in the silence, “he came to himself”, filled with great regret. In silence, the young man on the reality show, finds himself humming hymns: “Standing on the promises I cannot fall”. He said, he could hear the sound of his mother’s voice. I can hear mine too. Makes me teary. He found peace. Henri Nouwen wrote, “All human beings are alone. The question is whether we let our aloneness become loneliness or whether we allow it to lead us into solitude. Letting our aloneness grow into solitude and not into loneliness is a lifelong struggle. It requires conscious choices about whom to be with, what to study, how to pray, and when we ask for counsel. But wise choices will help us to find the solitude where our hearts can grow in love.” Last night, Quinlan and I went to see The Cake at the art museum. (The last play we saw together was on Broadway in November of 2019!) As the curtain closed, and the music played, I whispered to Quinlan, “that’s the hymn, Love Lifted Me” (when nothing else could help…). Just those few notes lifted me. Yes! It was the meaning of the play.
Hymns evoke so much feeling, (and faith). I can still recite the lyrics I heard my mother sing every Sunday morning, most evenings while she cooked, and in worship on Sunday and Wednesday evenings; hymns shaped not only my theology, but my heart. (Never think children do not gain something from being in worship—no matter how small they are.)
My grandmother lived with us most of my childhood; the last five years Alzheimer's had taken even my name, from her memory, but she never forgot a single word of Blessed Assurance. She and Mother sang it every night. I hope I never forget.
I still miss 4-part harmony acapella singing. About twenty loved ones sang Mother to heaven around her hospital bed at Mercy. Amazing grace. I hope I never forget.
Fast falls the eventide.
Lord, let me never, ever Outlive my love to thee.
Blest be the tie that binds--Pastor Micki