I've started sitting down at the piano randomly this year. Being a piano/voice teacher and a mom who feels guilty doing things I enjoy when I could be cleaning the house or tending to other duties, I tend to only play when I have to work on a piece for a student or find songs for lessons. This year I've made the conscious decision to play just for fun whenever I can. I originally said I was going to do it every morning, but let's get real.
That AIN'T gonna happen!
I'm thrilled that I'm playing for fun at all, no matter how often it happens. So....this morning I sat down with my Reader's Digest "Lift Every Voice and Sing" songbook and started playing. Do you have any of those big, oversized Reader's Digest songbooks? I value each and every one I have. They give me more than just music - they give me a theme, a story, a reason behind the songs. I've had them on my shelves for years, and this year I'm pulling them down off the shelf and enjoying the old-fashioned (ahem, vintage) stylings of a great hymn.
Don't get me wrong - I can stand with my hands in the air to Chris Tomlin and Matthew West and Tenth Avenue North worship song, but the hymns! OH! The Hymns! I read an article last week that mentioned the fact of hymns being sung by the stalwart greats throughout history and the melding of our voices in praise and adoration, repentance and redemption...worship and wonder of our Father God. I like that imagery! To think Calvin, Luther, Wesley, Henry and Crosby (to name but a few) are singing along in heaven brings a smile to my face. (no...not theologically anything, but the thought of it being a possibility is cool!)
Aaaaaand, back to this morning. Sitting at the piano I started with Nearer, My God to Thee. My sightreading skills are still strong, thankfully, but I didn't get very far before I had to stop and just sit in wonder of my precious Lord. Here's why....
In the Old rugged cross,
Stained with blood so divine,
A wondrous beauty I see.
For 'twas on that old cross
Jesus suffered and died
To pardon and sanctify me.
To the Old rugged cross,
I will ever be true,
Its shame and reproach gladly bear,
Then He'll call me some day
To my home far away,
Where His glory forever I'll share.
My beliefs are not popular, but I can tell you they are trustworthy and real (and you wouldn't like me...and I wouldn't even like you, if it weren't for the change in me Jesus brought). I will gladly - with joy - bear the shame and reproach it brings because this world is not my home....
Happy Monday, all! Be wonder-filled!
PS: what's your favorite hymn? I'd love to hear!