READ : Mark 14:26-31
When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. (v. 26)
Quick: what’s the last thing Jesus did before leaving the upper room and going out into that dark night of betrayal and arrest? He sang a hymn. “When they had sung the hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives.” I wonder what hymn they sang.
I’m not much of a singer, but I like to sing hymns. Sometimes I find myself singing hymns when I work in my garden. “Amazing Grace.” “Softly and Tenderly.” “Be Still My Soul.” I like to think about the words. And as must have been the case with Jesus and his disciples, I often find that singing a hymn has a way of calming me and making me ready for whatever lies ahead.
It happened years ago, about two o’clock in the morning, in a hospital room in Sioux City, Iowa. The woman, a young wife and mother, her body emaciated by the cancer, finally ceased breathing. There were a dozen family members in the room, hovering at her bedside. There was a moment of silence, some soft sobbing. Then someone started singing, soft and slow, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”
One by one we all joined in. When we finished singing, someone said: “Now I feel better.”
Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me. Amen.