Life is full of ups and downs, twists and turns. With the fast pace of changes and the many voices which surround us, competing for our attention, I often lose focus.
One of the most important resources for me that helps me remember who I am is music, and hymns in particular. While I love many of the contemporary songs that are such an important part of our weekly worship, it is often the lyrics of hymns that I sang year after year that are imprinted in my mind, and which help me to regain my focus. One of the songs that is most meaningful to me is an old Swedish hymn that I learned more than 40 years ago, especially when the College Choir I was in sang it every night on our spring tour – O Let Your Soul Now be Filled with Gladness.
O let your soul now be filled with gladness, Your heart redeemed rejoice indeed.
O may the thought banish all your sadness, that in his blood you have been freed.
That God’s unfailing love is yours, that you the only Son were given,
That by his death he has opened heaven, that you are ransomed as you are.
If you seem empty of any feeling, rejoice you are his ransomed bride.
If those you cherish seem not to love you and dark assails from every side.
Still yours the promise come what may, in loss and triumph, in laughter, crying,
In want and riches, in living, dying, that you are purchased as you are.
It is a good every good transcending that Christ has died for you and me.
It is a gladness that has no ending, therein God’s wondrous love to see.
Praise be to you, O spotless Lamb, who through the desert my soul are leading
To that fair city of joy exceeding, for which you bought me, as I am.
Thank you, dear God, For ransoming me and all of us as we are, and not needing us to be some kind of perfect people. Help us to be refilled with gladness as we are reminded of that wonderful reality! Amen.