Hymn: “Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart” – Edward H. Plumptre (1821-1891)
Typical Tune: MARION
Of course, I’m going to be drawn to this hymn-line: it’s all about singing!
We’re not necessarily following the Yellow Brick Road with Munchkins at our ankles, but we are on a lengthening path filled with uncertainties. Oh, I realize we know where we’re going to end up, but we can never be quite certain what to expect along the way. To carry that Oz analogy a bit further, some of us are hopelessly positive, skipping down the path in our ruby slippers with great confidence and resolve that we can find our way back home. Others are heartless – or have lost heart. Some are totally without courage. Still others are mindless in their travels, not alert or thoughtful. Then there are the ones who are Toto-ly happy to just follow everyone else, making no decisions of their own.
It is not, however, the Great and Powerful Oz we seek in order to ask him for fulfillment. “Weeee’re (not) off to see the Wizard!” Rather we are on the path to things that are higher, things that are nobler. We have set our sights on the heavenly vision, and pleasing the Ruler of Heaven and Earth is our highest call. Thankfully, he has not hidden himself behind a curtain, pretending to be someone he is not!
I never remember walking alone through a cemetery after dark, but I’ve seen that in plenty of movies. In all those situations, the one traversing the graves is whistling or humming… or singing as they go. Perhaps they are trying to ward off the imagined evil spirits lurking there – or better yet, the singing will take their mind off the situation in which they find themselves: the music allays their fear.
We share life’s long path. Our struggles and difficulties may vary, but if we can face whatever lies ahead with a song – perhaps even a hymn – to take our mind off those things which so easily beset us, we may more likely make it safely to the other side of the graveyard… or the end of the Yellow Brick Road.
The word “still” in this hymn-line indicates that we have already been singing, and that we should keep it up. “Yes” – with confidence we set out across the uncharted territory, “still” with a song in our heart and on our lips as we rejoice, give thanks and sing.
Let’s lock arms and head down life’s road together – heartily vocalizing our common faith in song!