A Book on Your Shelf You May Be Missing
This Thanksgiving comes upon us in the midst of a very strange year in our lives and in our world. Plans have changed. Trips have been canceled. And yet, this holiday (and more importantly, our Lord himself!) continues to call us to consider how we must be thankful.
If you're like me, this discipline doesn't always come naturally. Between being bogged down in the details of life or fretting about the big picture, we neglect to come up for the air of thankfulness. And so, our thoughts and words are often characterized more by complaining than by gratitude.
So, we need help. We need tools to teach our hearts to be thankful. Of course, the Word of God is of paramount importance in this endeavor. But let me recommend to you another book that can draw your heart to stillness, meditation, and gratitude. It's a book many of us have in our homes and yet often neglect. It's the hymnal.
In the hymnal, we find words written hundreds of years ago all the way up to the present day, words written by men and women who wanted to know their Savior better and rest more deeply in his perfect care.
There are gems in your hymnal, I promise you. So maybe pick it up today and find a new hymn you're unfamiliar with. If you can, plunk out the melody on the piano. If you can't read music, don't let that stop you! Find the hymn on YouTube or Hymnary or just use the words as a poem to guide your reflections on your Savior.
To get you started, here's one rather unknown hymn for you to meditate on this Thanksgiving holiday.
by Samuel Crossman (1664)
1 My song is love unknown,
my Savior’s love to me,
love to the loveless shown,
that they might lovely be.
O who am I, that for my sake
my Lord should take frail flesh and die?
2 He came from his blest throne,
salvation to bestow;
but men cared not, and none
the longed-for Christ would know.
But oh, my Friend, my Friend indeed,
who at my need his life did spend!
3 Sometimes they strew his way,
and his sweet praises sing;
resounding all the day
hosannas to their King.
Then “Crucify!” is all their breath,
and for his death they thirst and cry.
4 Why, what hath my Lord done?
What makes this rage and spite?
He made the lame to run,
he gave the blind their sight.
Sweet injuries! Yet all his deeds
their hatred feeds; they 'gainst him rise.
5 They rise, and needs will have
my dear Lord sent away;
a murderer they save,
the Prince of Life they slay.
Yet willing he to suff'ring goes,
that he his foes from thence might free.
6 In life, no house, no home
my Lord on earth might have;
in death, no friendly tomb
but what a stranger gave.
What may I say? Heav'n was his home,
but mine the tomb wherein he lay.
7 Here might I stay and sing,
no story so divine;
never was love, dear King,
never was grief like thine.
This is my Friend, in whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.