Anyone who knows me knows that I am a lover of the old hymns. I will often refer to them as the rich, anthems of our faith, and they are. Many of us probably grew up singing them in church from a hymnal, and while I also love the contemporary worship songs of today, there is something about those old hymns that just brings me into the presence of God in such a sweet way.
That said, it should come as no surprise to you that this month’s worship spotlight is one such anthem, “Softly and Tenderly.” I’ve been listening to this hymn on repeat all day, and I seem to love it more each time it plays through. If you’ve never heard it, there are many versions you can download on Apple Music, but the one I’ve been listening to today is sung by Carrie Underwood off of her new album “My Savior.” All I can say is that the girl can sing, and she so beautifully sings the words of this hymn. If you’ve never heard it before or are unfamiliar with the words, take a minute to read through the lyrics now:
Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.
Come home, come home,
You who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly, Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!
Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?
Time is now fleeting, the moments are passing,
Passing from you and from me;
Shadows are gathering, deathbeds are coming,
Coming for you and for me.
Oh, for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Though we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and for me.
As I read these words, I imagine Jesus standing at the door of my heart, knocking, just as we read about in Revelation 3:20:
“Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door,
I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me.
And as He knocks, He calls out to you and to me, inviting us to return to Him. The beauty of His invitation is that He invites us to come as we are—a sinner, dirty and stained—and to find pardon and mercy in His embrace. If we would just open the door and let Him in!
I pray that this month’s worship spotlight compels you to do just that, to let the LORD Jesus in to heal and restore your heart. And if you love worship, then make sure to tune in to Facebook Live tomorrow night at 7:15 pm MST for a sweet time of worship as Emily Heaton leads us in “Softly and Tenderly.” Hope to “see” you then!