The sermon hymn yesterday was “O God, My Faithful God”. The second verse is as follows:
Keep me from saying words, that later need recalling;Guard me lest idle speech, May from my lips be falling;But when within my place, I must and ought to speak,Then to my words give grace, Lest I offend the weak.
Ouch! I am the queen of idle speech. Most of it is in my mind, but it is idle nonetheless. And it is most difficult for me to speak within my place. It is much easier for me to speak of others than to others.
The next verse lets me know how I might be able to avoid such idle speech:
Lord let me win my foes, With kindly words and actions,And let me find good friends, for counsel and correction.Help me as you have taught, to love both great and smallAnd by your Spirit’s might, To live at peace with all.
So, I need to remember to pray for the strength to choose my words wisely and for friends that will remind me when I go astray.
I am thankful for rich Lutheran hymnody which not only can show me my sin, but can also point me to the cross, from where my hope rests.
I just don’t think that there is an “uplifting” praise song that can have the same power. A good hymn is like a “little sermon”, and since I respond so strongly to music, the hymns stick with me even longer than a good sermon…my apologies to the Rev.!