Wordwise Hymns submitted an article that really stirred me up today. Though mostly about hymns and John Newton, the author questions our sense of wonder of G-d at the end of his article. Where is the passion of the Church in its songs? Why don’t we invite our heart (and maybe brains?) to Church or Synagogue? Below, I took a stab at one idea that may limit us. What do you think limits passion towards G-d?
HOW TO USE THIS BLOG 1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day. 2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the […]
“I believe the wonder of the modern expression of the Church is quenched through decades of passivity, or maybe a failure of curiosity.
My spiritual heritage ranges from observant to belligerent, from the first pagan Swedish converts of Ansgar to atheistic Swedish socialists, from Polish Catholics to Polish Orthodox Jews to atheistic Jews. All this inheritance from Europe was then crunched and compacted into smaller boxes of American Protestantism: Episcopal, various Lutheran synods, Baptist Fundamentalism, Assemblies of G-d, the Vineyard (Non-denominations), Messianic Jewry.
I am surely not condemning the Church that I know and love, but am aware of how effective our common enemy is at lulling us to sleep.
Many of us only know Church history as told to us through secular scholars. We don’t know the backstory of the hymns or their authors. How many of them suffered for the privilege to worship G-d in Spirit and Truth?
We have disconnected from the Old Testament, in some cases, almost entirely. We don’t connect with its’ Feasts and Holidays so we are limited in relating to the founders of the Church and our Savior.
Surely, He loves us whether we read the newspaper or Herodotus, but it seems plain to me that one who remembers only 75 years of the Lord’s faithfulness may experience less passion than those who draw on the memories of Israel and the Church over the past 5775 years. May we be ever curious and ACTIVELY meditate on our King of Kings, and his unmerited favor shown through the stories of the faithful throughout history!” PTH
“Governor Alexander Ramsey is in Washington when the Civil War breaks out. He rushes to the White House and is the first to pledge troops for defense of the Union.
Slavery has never been legal in Minnesota, but not everyone feels the issue is worth going to war over. Yet when war comes, most of Minnesota is gripped by patriotic excitement. Flags wave as troops are sent off to a long and bloody battle that tears America apart.
In Fillmore County, patriotism is so high that men ‘leave their reapers in the field, their grain uncut, their stacks half-built’ to gather in Preston for a recruiting drive. Thousands of troops train at Fort Snelling before leaving for battle.
More than 100 black men from Minnesota enlist in the Union Army. If captured by Confederate troops, black soldiers are not treated as prisoners of war but as escaped slaves. (The 1860 census lists a total African American population in the state of only 259 men, women, and children.)” *
Only 259 black Minnesotans in 1860 Jesus! Wow! Will You visit this piece of history Jesus with you healing presence? Especially for these 259 American citizens? Will you honor the 100 who enlisted to fight slavery? Will You remember their bravery to future generations?
As Your friend, I bless these 259 African American children of God in the name of Jesus. I bless them, their generations backwards and forwards, and their dwellings. Holy Spirit, will You remove the curse the enemy has tried to put on them through the heritage of slavery, of being the vanquished? Jesus, through Your omnipresence will You send these words to them?
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 8:37-39
As to the patriotism of Minnesotans’, thank You for the love of this place that would make men choose to lay down their lives and fortunes for the sake of defending the most vulnerable Americans. Thank You that our state was the first to lend a hand to the black freedom! Jesus will You temper our patriotism and idealism with honesty and forbearance? Will You take our love of state and country, and place it in proper perspective with the love of Your kingdom? Will You clear the channels starting in this generation of the extremes of patriotism, or the nihilism manifesting as ambiguity towards human suffering?
Will You bring Your wisdom to our heritage? Protect my house and this present generation from harsh judgments of our forbearers! We are often in the same boat as they! We hate to see and hear of the suffering in Muslim nations: Egypt, Libya, Iran, Iraq, etc., but does this mean we should engage in war to correct what we perceive as injustices? Will we raise the status of your daughters’ behind the burqa by slaying their men, or praying for their men?
There is a difference between self-defense and aggression; will You show this boundary to us? Even under interrogation by Pontius Pilate, You often chose to stand firmly and silently. Jesus, bring Your marvelous wisdom to this state of Minnesota! We need You to guide us, and guide our zealousness into paths that bring Your dominion of grace, safety and truth!
Abigail Snelling starts a Sunday School at Ft. Snelling for the children.*
Lord, thanks that You love children. Thanks for the curiosity of the children of Minnesota. May we not fail to teach them the Bible, or introduce Jesus as ‘the Living Word’ of God. Thank you for the legacy of freedom we have in Minnesota because of Jesus!!!
Is this an over statement? Do we have an inheritance of liberty if the culture of our state has chosen to follow the example of Christ? I think it would be a great study for the scholars.
What happens to a culture that cherishes the primary teachings of Christ? Would they not highly value the virtue of love? Imagine a place committed to overlooking offenses, and forgiving its enemies! What if children believed that they were made in the image of a good God that treasured them? What new vistas would we reach if we remained humble and teachable as Christ did?
I may be considered a lightweight for the following statement, but Whitney Houston had it right! We are limited in so many ways because we don’t know and accept ourselves. We are insecure and have to prove the validity of our position, not caring about who we damage. Sorry Jesus, and Whitney, we haven’t learned the “Greatest Love of All.”
*Note – PrayThroughHistory uses the timeline located for several years at the Minnesota Historical Society Web site, at this URL: mnhs.org/about/dipity_timeline.htm . The current URL is http://www.dipity.com/Minnesota/History/Minnesota-History/ and only works if typed, not pasted, in browser. It is worth the effort!