As soon as the musical introduction began in yesterday’s church service, the old familiar words began rattling around in my brain: “Come Thou fount of every blessing, tune my heart to sing Thy praise.” Tune my heart?? That seems to imply that in order to praise God best for his never ceasing “streams of mercy,” this heart which the author later describes as “prone to wander” needs some tuning, some re-orientation, some renovation or overhaul.
You’ve heard what some call the “splendid cacophony” or “organized chaos” as orchestra members, seated with their instruments which will soon delight the audience with stunning, thrilling music, prepare for the concert. As one instrument—usually the oboe—plays the note “A,” each other instrument “finds” it in order to tune to the same note. Adjustments are made as strings are tightened, reeds carefully placed, music stands moved ever so slightly so the pages can be seen.
So why does my heart need tuning? How is my heart tuned? It doesn’t take long for me to answer that first question. Jeremiah writes, The heart is more deceitful than all else and is desperately sick, but even without those words, upon close examination I know that my heart—the core of my being—is bent on self orientation. I resist submission. I’m tempted to want more. I question God’s plan. I need tuning.
How is my heart tuned? Another wise man put it this way: If we confess our sins, he is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. A cleansed heart, a heart without any discord, a tuned heart. The “A” to which I must be aligned, tuned, is the Only Righteous One, my Savior. I don’t measure myself by any human instrument, no matter how beautifully made or how marred by use. Just the Savior.
What would happen if, before every church service of praise and worship, the pastor would pronounce, “In these first five minutes, tune your heart to sing God’s praise.” Might these words from Psalm 19 be each person’s honest prayer?
May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart
be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.
Perhaps a bit of splendid cacophony would break out as sins against one’s neighbor are confessed. A man might wander over to a person with whom gossip had been shared and now seek forgiveness. A woman might walk to the front of the room to kneel in public confession.
Cacophony and chaos finished, the music can begin.
(You’ve perhaps noticed that this My Monday Moments page has a different look. While it’s still “under construction,” I’m trying to make it easy to read, less “feminine,” easier for browsers to find. Stay tuned (apropos for today’s subject!) to see what happens next.)
©Marilyn J. Ehle
June 22, 2015