06 February 2020
Songs in the Darkness ~ The Refrain in our Brain
Greetings Dear Reader,
Off in the Netherlands, I heard a sound
Like the beating of heavenly wings
And deep in my brain, I can hear a refrain
Of my soul as she rises and sings
When I wrote about liturgy a few weeks ago, I spoke about cants and responses. The response in liturgy is like the refrain of a song. It is the familiar part that carries the anchor of the story a song is telling. It is the fragment we can remember when the remainder of the song is elusive.
We all have songs that call to us. They may be songs we know well or anthems we sang at a certain point in our life. It may be the song of our tribe or the song we hum as we move along home. Our soul rises to sing the song that we have made familiar or associated with an event or feeling.
We face a difficulty when we fill that well of songs with dirges. I will get to that tomorrow, but I want to remind you of something my Grandfather always would say in his sermons. When he was speaking about music or retaining the Bible in our minds, he would relate the importance of it in a crisis or painful situation. He would say, “Fill your mind with Scripture and spiritual songs because what is down in the well is what comes up in the bucket.”
When the darkness folds its wings and descends, we can remember the beating of heavenly wings. We can recall the songs that we heard in the darkness and join in the refrain. Again, as I must conclude so often, the choice and solution lie with me. The choice is to sing in the darkness.
The choice is to allow the refrain rising in the brain to have freedom. Let the songs in the darkness become that which allows the light of Christ in us to push away the darkness. The bottom line is that we must choose to hear the songs that are there for us.
As we journey through the darkness, Dear Reader, we must choose what to believe, embrace, and do. Our brains can be trained to respond with the refrains that light the darkness and give courage to the heart. We can allow those refrains to rise in us when the darkness is doubly dark. We can shine and be that beacon that others need. It is in this that we can find a way to drive away any darkness. It is here that we can learn to move through the darkness in love and hope. Whilst we tarry by the fire a bit, I would teach you an ancient song that “makes the woeful heart to sing.” This song is centuries old and the melody older. It rises in me when the darkness is descending and kindles the light that never dies. Sing with me if you will.
The Crusader’s Hymn (Fairest Lord Jesus) – Maranatha Celtic
Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy, and crown!
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing!
Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast!
Wishing you joy in the journey,
Mat 13:52 So Jesus said to them, "That is why every writer who has become a disciple of Christ’s rule of the universe is like a homeowner. He liberally hands out new and old things from his great treasure store.”
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