Psalm 85:7-13 Isaiah 32:11-18 Hebrews 2:10-18 John 8:30-32
Lent is a time for spiritual introspection.
One avenue for this introspection is considering the worship service and what parts of it provide that special feeling of connection to the mystery of God. For me, it is the hymns, which both console and uplift.
One in particular stands out in my mind: For All the Saints. Many years ago, my father died suddenly a few days before All Saints Sunday. I remember my late wife clutching my arm as we sang the traditional hymn during our time of grief. It was the last two stanzas that gave me strength and courage to face the coming days:But lo! There breaks a yet more glorious day; the saints triumphant rise in bright array; the King of Glory passes on his way. Alleluia, Alleluia! From Earth’s wide bounds, from ocean’s farthest coast, through gates of pearl streams in the countless host, and singing to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost: Alleluia, Alleluia!
As I reflect during Lent, I remember this hymn not only for its joyful and energetic tune but also for its message of hope. And I pray that, as we all reflect during our journey through Lent, we may lift up our hearts and, as Psalm 98 says, “sing to the Lord a new song, for He has done marvelous things.”