Shout for Joy
The sequence I will be following for a while will use three sources: (1) Reflection on a secular quotation from a Christian worldview (2) Insight from the book of Acts (3) Psalm in meter or the application of a Proverb.
In discussing his book, Killing Jesus, Bill O'Reilly commented that he was "inspired by the Holy Spirit." It caused a flood of reactionary emails. I tend to think that those wishing to correct him thought that he said that the Holy Spirit told him what to write rather than telling him to write. On one hand Christians who take the Bible seriously believe that the Spirit inspired the writers in the sense that they were told what to write. However, we often speak of being inspired in the sense of being strongly moved by a force from the outside. Certainly, Martin Luther Jr's "I had a Dream" speech was inspired in this sense (although some might claim that the Holy Spirit was speaking through him.)
I bring this up only because the other night, I felt inspired. I was sitting at the piano looking out to the West across the Sound at a remarkably beautiful sunset. It was deeply moving. I thought, God must really love beauty because there is so much of it in the world. The line came to me, "I see your love of beauty in the sun set:” Deciding to take it a step further I added, "I feel your awesome power in every storm." At that point I began to wonder whether I could write a verse of poetry. After a pause I wrote in my mind" I hear your voice through nature's wonders" (I've always marveled at God's self revelation in nature - see Romans 1:19-20).
About that time an experience came to mind - a homily I had heard in an Episcopal Church some 10-15 years ago. The point was that in the presentation of the biblical story of God's great redemptive act, instead of starting with an emphasis on man's sinfulness as a result of his fall, we need to begin the story at the real beginning — man free from sin in the Garden of Eden, walking and talking with God. So, I added a fourth line, "Calling, 'Child, dear child, Oh come back home."' God's voice comes to us through nature, calling us back home to Eden.
Question: was I inspired, or not? You can certainly improve on the verse, but the experience of writing it was unique. In fact, I wrote four more verses to carry out the theme. I am going to include the lyrics and you are the judge.
The Grand Old Story
I see your love of beauty in the sunset;
I feel your awesome power in every storm.
I hear your voice thru nature's wonders,
Calling “Child, dear child, Oh come back home.”
Once in Eden free from sin;
We walked with God and talked with him.
No joy withheld, one tree denied.
“No harm can come,” the Tempter lied.
Lost in sin, we wandered in vain,
Longing for love, to be forgiven again.
Then, down came the Son from heaven above,
God’s atonement for sin, the proof of his love
“Look up my child, the price has been paid,
Come stand by my side while sin’s victories fade.
Your faith is the key to heaven above;
It’s broken sin’s grip, there is freedom in love.
We see your love of beauty in the sunset.
We feel your awesome power in every storm.
We’ve heard your voice thru Gospel’s story.
We’re back in Eden, our eternal home.
Robert H Mounce