Monday, March 11, 2013


Earworm? Isn't that the term for a song that gets stuck in your head? Sometimes it's a favorite, more often (for me) it's some cutesy, annoying tune...

There's a quirkiness about a song's invasion of your head - but it's always something you know well. What if our worship supplied the tunes, and messages that linger, and define our destiny? John Wesley published a little hymnal for the first Methodists, with these words on page 1: "Learn these tunes before you learn any others. Sing lustily and with good courage. Beware of singing as if you were half dead, or half asleep. Do not bawl. Sing in time, do not run before or behind. Sing spiritually. Have an eye to God in every word you sing. Aim at pleasing him more than yourself..."

Modern Christians squander energy debating styles of music that suit us, or attract people - but sacred music is all about content, the lyrics you might even know and treasure best of all, that supply you with courage, and fix your eyes upon God. Hymns, if they stick in our heads, shape us into worshipful people when we're not in worship. Charles Wesley, John's brother and history's most prolific hymn-writer, explained why he wrote 6,500 of them: "To arouse sinners, encourage saints, and to educate all in the mysteries of the Christian faith."

Can you get a hymn as your earworm? and wander around all day, sitting in meetings or at dinner, with "Fairest Lord Jesus," or "The Summons," or "How Great Thou Art" resounding in your soul?