“After singing a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” (Mark 14:26 NASB)
One treasured memory of my childhood is hearing my mother sing as she went about her daily tasks. As we grew older, she taught us those songs and we sang them in the car when we went on family outings. Most of them were songs she learned when she sang in the church choir and some that reminded her of her Puerto Rican homeland.
Just before I got married and left home to come to Georgia, my mom confessed to me that when she came to live in New York City as a young bride, she was homesick and afraid of living in so huge a metropolis. She said that singing those songs gave her courage to face each day.
Recently, I read an article about two Christian women, Gisela Wieberdink-Söhnlein and Hetty Voûte who were arrested in Amsterdam for hiding Jewish children in World War II. They were sent to Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, Germany in 1944. To survive there and at Vught Camp, where they were later transferred, they wrote and sang songs. The songs offered comfort to their fellow inmates, were a source of entertainment, and provided a distraction from the ugliness and brutality that surrounded them. Both women survived the war.
Remembering my Mom’s story and reading about these women brought to mind the hymn that says:
God of grace and God of glory.
On Thy people pour Thy power;
Crown Thine ancient church’s story,
Bring her bud to glorious flower,
Grant us wisdom, grant us courage,
For the facing of this hour.
No matter how small or how great our suffering, the Lord grants us grace for each day and each hour. What a wonderful God we serve!
Dearest Heavenly Father,
Before going to the Mount of Olives, Jesus sang with his disciples. It is clear by the verses that follow that He knew Golgotha awaited Him beyond that garden of prayer. Then, You sent an angel to strengthen Him, and He was able to say: “Your will be done.” Thank You for sending us Jesus. As we wait for the fulfillment of your promise to receive us in your kingdom, put a song on our lips, and strengthen our resolve, so that we will live a life that is pleasing to you.
In His precious and holy name,