Glimpses of grace seen in the everyday

Posts tagged ‘worship with the mind’

When you don’t know the words…

No, the answer isn’t “hum”!  It’s “just substitute a different word that you do know.”  Malapropism is one of my favorite kinds of humor:  the ludicrous misuse of a word, especially by confusion with one of similar sound (American Heritage Dictionary).

As a child, “Bringing in the cheese” made made more sense to me than “Bringing in the sheaves.”   I loved cheese and had no idea what “sheaves” were. 

A few years ago someone mentioned that he was deeply concerned about the theology in a song that says:  “…When my will becomes enthroned in Your (i.e. God’s) love…” What a relief to find out that “enthroned” was supposed to be “enthralled.”  Do you suppose that someone who sang or copied the lyrics didn’t know what “enthralled” meant and just substituted another word without thinking—a word with exactly the opposite meaning?    So instead of my will being captive to God, it’s on the throne!  The dictionary gives the following senses of “enthrall.”  I suspect that the second is what the song writer intended:

  1. To hold spellbound; captivate.
  2. To enslave.

So when we sing, do we spout forth nonsense or even heresy because we’re not thinking?  Are our minds as well as our hearts engaged in praising God and voicing our commitment to Him?  (One more thing:  It’s worth checking out the theology in a song before singing it.)

From Him, Through Him & To Him

How often do we read words in the Bible (or sing a song) without really understanding what they mean?  Especially when it’s poetry.  The words and phrases sound beautiful to our ears and uplift our spirits.  But our mind can also be engaged in our worship when we “unpack” these words.  For example, the 11th chapter of Romans ends in a beautiful hymn of praise to God:

Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God!
How unsearchable his judgments,
and his paths beyond tracing out!
“Who has known the mind of the Lord?
Or who has been his counselor?”
“Who has ever given to God,
that God should repay him?”
For from him and through him and to him are all things.
To him be the glory forever! Amen.  (Romans 11:33-36 NIV)

Now look again at the bolded words above.  Take a minute to think what all those prepositional phrases are saying about God.

from him–He is the source.

through him–He is the means.

to him–He is the goal.

Or, as another version spells it out more explicitly:

For everything comes from him and exists by his power and is intended for his glory. All glory to him forever! Amen.  (Romans 11:36 NLT)


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