THE SONG MUST GO ON!
Yes, I know there will be those who immediately interpret this post as a shameless ploy to once again post pictures of my brand new granddaughter. You know me well enough that I definitely would do that in a New York minute. So, try to get past the gratuitous photo opp and allow me, if you would, to share a rather intimate moment of being overwhelmed yet again at the sights and sounds of new life coupled with the confident assurance in the Author of life. In spite of whatever wanton family rave you may detect here, I also want to pronounce the immeasurable joy stirred at the hearing of the name of Jesus being sung to a grandchild in her very first moments of life. Grandchild #7, Autumn Elizabeth Evans was serenaded by her mother, Rachel Elizabeth Clark Evans when she had been breathing hospital room air for less than an hour. The go-to song was one sung to the Mom when she was an infant, the same one sung to little Autumn’s two older brothers (for multiple photos friend me on Facebook) who are now well prepared to take the lead when singing the tune in the car, at bedtime, bathtime, or even in church. I know there are other songs for children, Jesus Loves Me, Jesus Loves the Little Children, He’s Got the Whole World in His Hands, etc., but for some reason this one stuck with us. Thank you, Bill and Gloria Gaither.
As those who know me would expect, the moment at the hospital proved emotional for me. The more I have contemplated its power and implications, the more moved I have become. I am flooded with memories of living in Wichita, Kansas, where our daughter was born, coming in from work with hopes I would get to spend time holding our first little girl (she has two older brothers as well). New life begats new life in those precious daddy – baby daughter moments. Works with little boys too, and of course with grandkids, the whole thing is on steroids – but I digress. For the life of me I cannot remember exactly how old our daughter was, just that she was very young, when she began to parrot back to me the sing-songy descending third, “Jesus, Jesus, Jeeee—sus” I would continue “there’s just something about that Name.” In time she would join with broken syllables, “sumping….naee” In my memory it was all bits and pieces of high praise. Our daughter carried on the same practice with her two boys from their infancy forward, and now here we are beginning again. But wait, we are not technically beginning, but rather continuing. In the larger sense, we are actually participating in an unbroken song of praise.
Ok, besides my personal raving about my family here, there really is an application available to all of us who share in song and singing as primary means of making sure Gospel truth makes its intended journey from generation to generation. Obvious personal applications for your own lives and families I would dare to presume – that you would sing to your babies and keep them singing through life. Fostering that kind of singing for the infants born into your church families (and thus into your care) and continuing it through to adulthood, however, I see just as unmistakably integral to our calling as Worship Pastors, or ministering musicians. Mounting a platform with a guitar, microphone, or baton to call people to sing songs of praise is well worth the while. Ah, but to guide people to join the eternal song of praise as a way of living is central to our very life’s calling of making disciples. And get ready, as you well know it is likely a lot simpler singing in cradle-to-toddler years than when they get a job, a car, a girlfriend or boyfriend, or just lose their want-to when it comes to church, singing, or both. But ours is not simply a call to convenience. Some of the strongest ministry and witness may occur during the most difficult days of resistance. Keep the faith brothers and sisters! The song must go on, unruly children, obstinate teens and all. And it is well worth it. Some sweet day you may be in a hospital room with a young mother or father holding a precious innocent new life singing songs of Jesus, songs of life. There’s nothing more inspiring or encouraging. It is a sound that echoes through the halls of eternity, one generation to another.
Kings and kingdoms will all pass away, but there’s something (“sumping”) about that Name.