Saturday, June 19, 2010

What's Your Anthem?

I do not know what it is about hearing a country's Anthem, but I get so choked up.

It might be the fact that as you sing your Anthem, you are joined together with millions of other people who, despite differences in religion, politics, or anything else, stand united in support of their home country.

Saturday Night's "Hockey Night In Canada" always brings a tear to my eye before each game. Hearing the Canadian Anthem of "O Canada" just stirs my heart. I join in on the singing, belting out the lyrics from our family's rec room, and it is all I can do to finish the song without choking on that lump in my throat.

O Canada, our home and native land
True patriot love in all thy sons command.....

Then, if we are playing against the United States, I sing along with their Anthem, as I know every word. The melody to their Anthem is absolutely beautiful, and a small part of me wishes it was Canada's Anthem..... but don't tell anyone I said that.

Oh say can you see
By the dawn's early light
What so proudly we hailed
At the twilight's last gleaming....

Since our oldest son, Blake, has been hospitalized this week due to a severe Crohn's Disease flare-up, he and I have taken the opportunity of enjoying some of the soccer games in the 2010 South Africa Fifa World Cup on television. Of course, at the beginning of each game, the two competing teams' Anthems are played.

The camera zooms in on the faces of each of the players, some standing still and concentrating, others mouthing the words, all in support of their country. Some players display the vertical line of tears streaming down their face; and I can't help but think they've got that same lump in their throat.

The camera captures the supporting fans in the stands as they belt out their Anthem as loudly as they can, waving their country's flag, supporting their team, with painted faces and large coloured wigs and hats, huge flags draped around their shoulders.

What is it about a song that makes us stop what we're doing and reflect on it's meaning? And what exactly IS an Anthem anyways?

The Oxford Dictionary describes "anthem" as:

1 an uplifting song associated with a group or cause, especially a patriotic one adopted by a country as an expression of national identity.
2 a musical setting of a religious text to be sung by a choir during a church service.

So it got me to thinking......

What will be our Anthem in Heaven?

Of all the hymns or worship songs you know, which one do you think we will be singing? Which one will join our hearts as one?

I suppose the first song that comes to my mind would be the hymn that many Christians use as their doxology....

Praise God from whom all blessings flow
Praise Him all creatures here below
Praise Him above ye Heavenly hosts
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

But then my mind pondered the word "Holy" and this song came to mind....

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Revelation 4:8 says, Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under his wings. Day and night they never stop saying: "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come."

Our "Anthem" in Heaven will be one of praise to our Lord. Our Anthem, the song that joins our hearts and binds us together as one "country" will be a continual song of praise.... non-stop.... day and night.

If it weren't for the fact that there will be no tears in Heaven, then I would say we would definitely have tears streaming down our face and big ol' lumps in our throat!

We'll be waving our palm-branch flags, and shouting words of praise and adoration, and singing full strength to our Lord.

Our hearts will be united in proclaiming that Our Lord Reigns.

And, rather than standing at attention and facing a flag with a hand over our heart, the difference will be that every knee will be bowed in reverence as we kneel before the Lord our God, our Maker.

Yup..... I feel that lump returning.

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