“And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” Mark 14:26
Jesus has been the subject of all kinds of artwork in all different kinds of mediums. We have incredible paintings and sculptures of Jesus teaching and healing. From DaVinci’s Last Supper to Michelangelo’s Pieta—the ministry, life, death, and resurrection is creatively told through priceless works of art. Not to mention the incredible drawings that I get from time to time from some of our youngest members here at Prince of Peace— their own creative work put to paper while in the chair or pew. These are a gift as well!
All manner of Jesus’ life is depicted in art. Except one. One element of His life is noticeably absent. Where are all the paintings of Jesus singing? The above verse of scripture is evidence of this—but so what the faithful life of the Jewish people from those days. The faith was ingrained in the heart of a Jewish child through singing as much as through the spoken word. As a faithful Jew Himself, Jesus would have been well-versed in singing His faith. He would have sung songs.
As we come into this season of Lent, we will be looking at the songs of Jesus—the Psalms. I’m excited (and maybe a little bit nervous) because I’ve preached on the Psalms a handful of times in my entire ministry. No longer. Each Sunday in Lent I will be focusing the majority of the sermon on a psalm and using it to connect to the work of Jesus. Music moves us. It moves the soul. A song at the right moment lifts spirits, provides a needed word, and can leave us in a puddle on the floor. Martin Luther had this to say about music:
Next to the Word of God, the noble art of music is the greatest treasure in the world.
Lent is a journey with Jesus to the cross. It is a time when we take seriously our call to mature and grow in our faith as we trust the Holy Spirit’s nudging. In some ways, Lent is like spring cleaning at your house. It’s an annual time, different from the rest of the year, where you intentionally go deeper than your weekly habits. It’s an annual circle back to the things you’ll do “someday.” It’s an intentional time to devote to your walk with Christ and to lean into the transformational power of the Holy Spirit.
Our musical focus will extend to Wednesday night as well. As with years before, you will be invited to join us for a meal at 5:30 on Wednesday. Eating together is an important part of our faith. As it says in Luke 24:35 Jesus is “revealed in the breaking of the bread.” So, join us for a meal. Celebrate with conversation and community. Most Wednesdays, after our meal, we will have a faith-filled conversation surrounding the hymns and songs of praise of our faith. And you get to help lead it! Come be a part of scripture, music, and the movement of the Spirit among the people of God.
Ash Wednesday, March 2nd, will be far more traditional. We will have worship at noon and 6:30. Both will have the imposition of Ashes and Holy Communion. Prior to our evening worship, we will gather for a pancake supper in the Life Center. The ashes of Ash Wednesday tell an important story. They remind us of our mortality but they are in the shape of a cross—our hope and salvation. Join us as we live this mystery together.