Once I was in church singing “Open Our Eyes, Lord,” and I suddenly realized that I was singing it with my eyes closed.
I thought, “This doesn’t make sense. If I’m asking the Lord to ‘open my eyes’ then why do I have them shut?” I started wondering if we make an oxymoron out of other songs that we sing.
Most music ministers won’t let us remain seated for “Stand Up, Stand Up for Jesus,” so why don’t we shake the rafters when we sing “Shout to the Lord”?
Have you ever seen somebody put a dollar in the offering plate while singing, “Lord, You Are More Precious than Silver” or refuse to work in the nursery and then sing “How sweet to hold a newborn baby” (the second verse to “Because He Lives”)?
I heard about a song leader who directed the beat of the songs with a big swoop up, pointing his finger in the air, and then a big swoop down, pointing his finger to the ground. This went fine until he sang, “When the roll is called up yonder...” and lifted his arms to the sky, and then sang the rest of the line “...I’ll be there” and pointed down below.
Actually, there are times when we seem to mean exactly what we sing. “We Shall Not Be Moved” seems to be an appropriate hymn after a stubborn confrontation in a business meeting, and after church pot-luck when the hostess says that whoever wants some extra pecan pie can help themselves, I can imagine a men’s quartet breaking out in “‘Whosoever’ Meaneath Me.”
But why do we sing “Sweet Hour of Prayer” after a one-minute prayer or sing “Take Time to Be Holy” and then tell the preacher we’re too busy to help with the food closet?
Maybe it’s time that we pay more attention to what we’re singing.
So the next time you sing, “Change My Heart, Oh God,” listen up! Your pastor is about to preach, and he might actually have a song for you to put into action.
(Copyright 2012 by Bob Rogers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Read this column each Friday in the Herald. Read old “Holy Humor” columns by visiting www.fbcrincon.com and clicking on “Holy Humor.”)