The song of Moses (Exodus 15:1–19) was both declaration and anticipation: it looked back and forward. Within a few hours of singing this masterpiece of praise, however, the Israelites were murmuring! The question that must be asked then is, how many Israelites sang in the congregation that day with no real feeling or sincerity?
We must ask ourselves the same question. Do we sing with the heart or only with the mouth? Is our singing with an engaged mind, a faithful heart, and earnest desire for the God we praise? Meditate this month on the words of the hymns we so often sing.
Jesus, Thou Joy of loving hearts, Thou Fount of life, Thou Light of men, From the best bliss that earth imparts, We turn unfilled to Thee again. Thy truth unchanged hath ever stood; Thou savest those that on Thee call; To them that seek Thee Thou art good, To them that find Thee all in all. We taste Thee, O Thou living Bread, And long to feast upon Thee still; We drink of Thee, the Fountainhead, And thirst our souls from Thee to fill. Our restless spirits yearn for Thee, Wherever our changeful lot is cast; Glad when Thy gracious smile we see, Blessed when our faith can hold Thee fast. O Jesus, ever with us stay, Make all our moments calm and bright; Chase the dark night of sin away, Shed over the world Thy holy light.—Bernard of Clairvaux, 1091–1153