They say that music soothes the savage beast...and I would agree that music readily touches my soul, perhaps even more quickly than the written or spoken word. Music is a language all its own, and I wish I knew more about neuropsychology and the way music operates on the brain...wait, no I don't...that would only feed my life-long obsession with the acquisition of knowledge. All I need to know is that music calls to me, music ministers to me, music touches me. Music also ushers me into the presence of God. And there is no more glorious music than the music surrounding the Passion of Christ.
Like many of you older folk, I grew up with The Old Rugged Cross. My grandparents loved it, my husband's grandparents loved it, and my mother-in-law wanted it played at her memorial service. It was.
On a hill far away stood an Old Rugged Cross,
the emblem of suffering and shame;
and I love that old cross where the dearest and best
for a world of lost sinners was slain.
I remember as a child wondering why I should love that old cross, for the death that the One died upon it seemed so terrifying and horrible to me, but as I grow older, I have come to value the sacrifice and to see the cross for its terrible and enduring beauty. For in it or upon it, lies the means of grace. The Way to the Father. My way to the Father. The cross represents my adoption record. Fully paid. Fully satisfied. And because of that cross I am afforded the privilege of being the daughter of the Most High, His child. And He is my Abba, my Papa. It still seems unbelievable to me.
Yet my all-time favorite Easter hymn is the more modern Easter Song written by Keith Greene,
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing that you can be born again
Hear the bells ringing, they're singing Christ is risen from the dead.
The angel up on the tombstone said, "He is risen just as he said.
Quickly now, go tell his disciples that Jesus Christ is no longer dead."
Joy to the World, He has risen, Hallelujah
He is risen, Hallelujah...
Be Thou My Vision is not an Easter hymn per se, but this ancient church melody is the cry of my heart today:
Be Thou my vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that thou art -
Thou my best thought by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.
Riches I heed not, nor man's empty praise,
Thou mine inheritance, now and always
Thou and thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my treasure thou art.
High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach heaven's joys, O bright heav'n's sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my vision, O Ruler of All.
Without a doubt, I am so very thankful to be His.