It's been a few days.
Have you found yourself returning to this melody? Humming it in the car or at the store.
Did you return to listen again, this time bravely and boldly picking up crayons to color a prayer?
Or are you just not sure what I am trying to do here, confused or confounded?
Or some combination of all the above.
Listen just to the melody again, softly hum along, riding the ascending and descending notes like waves on the sea.
Read slowly the first verse below remembering that hymns are poetry. You cannot rush or race through poetry. You cannot skim the surface of poetry. You need to hold each word of a poem in the palm of your hand feeling its weight and exploring the contours/crevasses/cracks of a poem ~ every square inch. Let the photos last Advent, you cannot glance at a poem, you need to gaze in order to reframe and refocus. Here is the first verse of this hymn:
God of grace and God of glory,
on your people pour your power;
crown your ancient church's story,
bring its bud to glorious flower.
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage
for the facing of this hour,
for the facing of this hour.
Which line leaps off the screen? Which word did you return to? Why? It could be for a good reason or one that is unsettling.
I find myself struck by the line, "grant us wisdom and courage". I sometimes think this could be the most meaningful prayer I could pray each day. Grant me God wisdom. Not for haughty reasons. Not so I could boast or brag. Not so I could puff up my chest and prove that I am the smartest person in the room. (Which reminds me of the great quote, "If you always think you are the smartest person in the room...you are probably in the wrong rooms). Grant me wisdom, because this world is hungry and thirsty for that which is more than a text or tweet. Grant me wisdom because there is so much I don't know, so many ways I get mixed up or mistaken about what I think is right. Not only me, grant us as your people wisdom. Wisdom won through the good and bad. Wisdom that is found in the most unlikely places. Wisdom...then courage to act on that wisdom; to live bravely and boldly the deep truths that have stood the test of time.
We need wisdom and courage in these days. How might we uncover and discover such truths this day? How might this verse of this hymn become your theme song on these first few days of Lent? How much you seek wisdom and courage? Who might you seek it alongside?
I pray that these words might be a blessing to you and open you to traces of God's grace in these days.