Friday, April 18, 2014
I'm a bit of a Bible study junkie. I might go so far as to say Jesus Freak. That's not to say that I say Amen or Hallelujah at the end of every sentence (Although I think it would be cool to say, "Amen, Sister!" once in a while and have it sound completely natural.)
That's also not to say that I can always locate my Bible between actual Bible Studies that I sign up for. I need accountability, and sometimes I struggle even then. But, thankfully, I am involved with a group of women whose like-minded passion is to delve deeply into scripture and apply it to our daily lives. (and they are also really good at reframing my mindset when the coffee pot --which I am responsible for!-- acts up and I just want to throw it past the pastor into the parking lot or my husband wears a lacrosse sweatshirt on Sunday morning-- Again! but I digress...)
Anyway, even in spite of myself, sometimes I will learn something totally awesome. Like this little gem:
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Matthew 26:30
Huh? Here's the scene: Jesus and His disciples had just celebrated Passover (this particular one known today as the Last Supper). So they sung a hymn, right before arguably the most dramatic events in all of human history took place-- Jesus' fervent prayer, betrayal, arrest, denial, trial, humiliation, crucifixion, gruesome death and resurrection three days later. Sung a hymn.
OK, so they sung a hymn. Here's the cool part. The NIV Study Bible's study note for Matthew 26:30 states: "The Passover fellowship was concluded with the second half of the Hallel Psalms. (Psalm 115-118.)"
Reading these Psalms in that context, knowing what happens next, just might make me say Hallelujah at the end of every sentence. And right near the end is a very familiar verse:
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
I don't think Jesus sang it weakly, or by rote, or just because it was tradition. I think, knowing what was to come, He sang it with all His heart. Does knowing this affect me in my daily life? Yes, it does. Every. Single. Day.