Thursday, May 12, 2011

Singing "Jesus Loves Me"

Is it just me, or have you also been singing "Jesus Loves Me" more often lately?

I'm not sure when I first noticed this, but when we sang "Jesus Loves Me" at Synod Assembly last week, I said to a friend, "The last time I sang this song so often was when I was about 8."  I've sung it in many a worship service, from suburbun church to camp.  I've sung it as a way to bring a session to a close.  I've sung it where I'd expect to sing it, in children's Sunday School class.  I've learned how to sign the song, so that I can sign and sing.

Is it a special anniversary this year?  My friend at Synod Assembly said she thought it was because the song is in our latest hymnal, so we have easy access to words and music that we didn't have before.

Can I just admit that I do not like this song?  It gives me the same kind of creeps that the "Now I lay me down to sleep" prayer gives me.  It feels vapid.  I'm a grown up.  I shouldn't have to sing this kind of simple song when we have such rich hymnody available.

But enough of me sounding cranky.  Perhaps I should think about my experience at Lutheridge, where so many people already knew how to sign and sing the song, where the sight of so many of my dear camp friends making the sign for Jesus (touching a finger to each imagined nail hole in the palm) gave me a shiver in a good way.  Maybe I should think about Synod Assembly and all those older folks, still able to sing every verse from memory. 

I shouldn't be so quick to dismiss a comfort, especially the easily attained comfort of a childhood song.

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