Thursday, October 18, 2007

Anthem heard in church last Sunday

Church music fascinates me. I suppose this is due to my fundamentalist background and the place of song in its tradition.

But it's also the result of a theory I have about churches.

It is simply this: you can tell an awful lot about a congregation by paying close attention to the words it sings on Sunday.

I'm talking values, theology, relevance and practical engagement with the world.

Here's an anthem sung in a Dallas church last Sunday. It's titled Prayer for the Children.

See what you think:

Can you hear the prayer of the children,

on bended knee, in the shadow of an unknown room?

Empty eyes with no more tears to cry, turning heavenward toward the light.

Cryin' Jesus, help me to see the mornin' light of one more day.

But if I should die before I wake, I pray my soul to take.

Can you feel the hearts of the children,

aching for home, for something of their very own?

Reaching hands with nothing to hold on to, but hope for a better day.

Cryin' Jesus, help me to feel the love again in my own land,

but if unknown roads lead away from home, give me loving arms, way from harm.

Can you hear the voice of the children,

softly pleading for silence in their shattered world?

Angry guns preach a gospel full of hate, blood of the innocent on their hands.

Cryin' Jesus, help me to feel the sun again upon my face.

For when darkness clears I know you're near, bringing peace again.

Can you hear the prayer of the children?

A thoughtful, compassionate church concerned about something beyond their own comfort or consumer desires for "satisfying worship," I'd say.
May their number increase.


Anonymous said...

A misguided ad for the SCHIP bill I assume. In church, no less.

Charles said...

Almost as misguided as leaving drive-by comments anonymously with no support. Carry on your crusade carried out in the dark shadows of sniping, Anonymouses of the World!

Anonymous said...

Seriously... some people who attack this blog obviously don't have the guts to fully represent themselves. It's like a troll jumping out from a bridge. Just throw something out, and then go back to the light of day.

Maybe we can lure the troll out and steal his radio so he will stop listening to Rush.

Just a thought... noticed chris hasn't been on here in a while... but all of the sudden we have all of these asinine comments.

Larry James said...

Let me assure everyone the hymn in question did not have any one thing in mind--just the precarious plight of so many children in the world today. I guess if the SCHIP fits, then we'll need to wear it!

But, there are other issues, aren't there? A needless war, inadequate housing, abuse, neglect, Darfur, et. al.

This hymn called a large congregation of over 1,000 to be aware, to care and to focus outside themselves and their own limited, middle class/upper class self-interest. I wasn't there, but my wife found it moving and important. To her it seemed much more significant than adoring God for all that God has done for her.

Anonymous said...

anon 8:42 am, you are a sick, sad individual. It must be hell to be you.