I am not sure how many song stories there are, but in case another one comes bubbling up, here is Numero Uno. And it may meander a bit, I’m not writing to be edited.
I have to admit that I am often judgmental about songs. Especially songs sung in church.Probably sometimes it is right on and other times I need to chill. I have often felt like three hymns and a sermon were just too cut and dry for me. I want to sing till something crawls out of me and something more desirable sets up shop. So being part of a new church I thought this could happen. And what do we do? We sing these little chorsuses that we sang in Sunday School when I was a kid in the 60’s! Not the direction I hoped for. So I am going along with it, I will sing of the mercies of the Lord forever….. In front of me was my pastor’s family. His son , who is Down’s Syndrome hissed loudly into his mother’s ear, “I love this song!” I told myself to shut up, it is not about me. I often have to tell myself that. But it also taught me not to freak out about songs because someone else may love it and if I go on about how bad that song is, I might take all the beauty out of it for them. For why?
This morning I was listening to a favorite radio preacher, Alistair Begg. As he was going through the verses that cover the Magnificat, he mentions this little tune from way back “oh maybe a hundred years’ and starts singing in his sermon, “I will sing of the mercy of the Lord forever, I will sing, I will sing….” and then points out that This is what Mary was singing about in Luke. This is what we want our children and grandchildren to learn to sing. It is what Jeremiah sings in the middle of Lamentations, literally and legibly. “It is of the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning. Great is his faithfulness.”
I grew up with the King James version of the Bible and I know that the ‘Lord’s mercies’ are translated as his ‘steadfast’ or ‘unfailing’ love in other translations. I think people understand that they are loved when they perceive mercy. I can remember being shown mercy and the relief and warmth that would flood my being when I had been frustrated or exasperated or obviously stupid. Or just shown a way when I knew I was unsure of my direction. When I started teaching Latin, I had a first period class and I was not a morning person. I would bow my head to pray and I could hardly ever think of anything else to say except, “Thank you that Your mercies are new every morning…” One day someone from the yearbook came asked me what my favorite verse was. I went blank , but my ornery 8th graders spoke up and said, “It’s that one you pray every morning!”
“With my mouth will I make known Thy faithfulness to all generations.”