Palm Sunday / Passion Sunday
Week of: March 25, 2018
Scripture: John 12:12-16
At first his disciples did not understand all this. Only after Jesus was glorified did they realize that these things had been written about him and that these things had been done to him.
(John 12:16, NIV)
Each week during the season of Lent 2018, the Reflections will explore the lectionary text through the lens of a representative hymn.
"My Song is Love Unknown,"
The Faith We Sing 2083. Text by Samuel Crossman (1664).
This hymn’s title — "My Song is Love Unknown" — is intriguing. Does it mean we do not fully comprehend God’s love? The text first reflects upon the world’s refusal to know Christ. Later, the stark reality of our fickle human nature is exemplified in the narrative of the crowds in Jerusalem on Palm Sunday, as they shouted “Hosanna,” only to turn to the word “Crucify!” expressed in a most graphic way “for blood and death they thirst and cry.”
We find powerful questions posed within the text. “What has my Sovereign done?” and “What makes this rage and spite?” This hymn challenges us as it powerfully declares that although we have received many signs and gifts of healing from Christ, we cannot help but see ourselves in the story of the people of Jerusalem.
Finally, we sing our “plain belief” of God’s goodness and mercy, affirming our faith as we declare that we will spend all our days singing his praise, recognizing the depth of Jesus’ love.
Consider creating a reminder of this hymn text for your ensembles, religious arts participants, and other worship teams to use during their prayer time this week. Add the words of the third stanza to a document that includes a picture of your sanctuary (or other centering image.) Format the document to a postcard size or smaller. Many computer programs have templates you can use. Print it on card stock and read it together as part of your closing prayer and devotions at rehearsals this week.
Dear Lord, I acknowledge that your love lies beyond my comprehension. Despite my weakness, help me remember what you have done for me, that I may now and forever spend my days singing your praise. Amen.
Catherine Stapleton Nance
Director of Music Ministries
St. John's United Methodist Church