Today I draw our attention to two different hymns. First is Glory, Glory Hallelujah which has this great verse:
I feel better, so much better, since I laid my burdens down. I feel better, so much better, since I laid my burdens down.
You may think, wait that doesn’t mention God at all? What does this have to do with our imaging God? But there is this sacred, subtle sense that God is the burden bearer and breaker. God is the One we can surrender all the stress and strain and struggle to life. Of course, I usually only loan my burdens to God and then quickly want to take them back. Like when my wife hands me her purse to hold for a few moments. Often I am like, “Thanks God for holding that hurt, but I got this now.” After all, I don’t want to be a burden to God…God has enough without me. But the is exactly the kind of perspective this Spiritual is trying to confront. You don’t just ask God to hold your burdens for a while, you surrender them fully. You release your clinging and controlling and need to look competent.
What if you prayed, “Our Burden-Bearer and Breaker, holy is Your name” today? What if you tried to both say and live those words today?
The other hymn is right next door in our New Century Hymnal, “Many and Great, O God, Are Your Works”. The first verse of this hymn is profound and powerful as Glory, Glory Hallelujah. Say these words aloud to yourself,
“Many and great, O God, are Your works, Maker of earth and sky; Your hands have set the heavens with stars, Your fingers spread the mountains and plains. Lo, at your word the waters were formed; deep seas obey your voice.”
I love how the hymn writer prayerfully leads us from the vast galaxies above our heads to the places our feet touch the ground. The images I hear in these words are God our Creator; God our Artistic Director; God our Companion; God whose singing voice stirs our souls. What do you hear or experience? How might these two hymns influence and impact the way you pray the Lord’s Prayer today?
Continue to let the words of our hymns shape the ways we pray the Lord’s Prayer.
Prayer: Thank you, O God, for powerful and poetic words of hymns that can open our hearts and whole lives to new understandings of Jesus’ Prayer. Amen.