I’m a bit of a Bible study junkie. I might go so far as to say Jesus Freak. That’s not to say that I say Amen or Hallelujah at the end of every sentence (Although I think it would be cool to say, “Amen, Sister!” once in a while and have it sound completely natural.)
That’s also not to say that I can always locate my Bible between actual Bible Studies that I sign up for. I need accountability, and sometimes I struggle even then. But, thankfully, I am involved with a group of women whose like-minded passion is to delve deeply into scripture and apply it to our daily lives. (and they are also really good at reframing my mindset when the coffee pot –which I am responsible for!– acts up and I just want to throw it past the pastor into the parking lot or my husband wears a lacrosse sweatshirt on Sunday morning– Again! but I digress…)
Anyway, even in spite of myself, sometimes I will learn something totally awesome. Like this little gem:
When they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives. Matthew 26:30
Huh? Here’s the scene: Jesus and His disciples had just celebrated Passover (this particular one known today as the Last Supper). So they sung a hymn, right before arguably the most dramatic events in all of human history took place– Jesus’ fervent prayer, betrayal, arrest, denial, trial, humiliation, crucifixion, gruesome death and resurrection three days later. Sung a hymn.
OK, so they sung a hymn. Here’s the cool part. The NIV Study Bible’s study note for Matthew 26:30 states: “The Passover fellowship was concluded with the second half of the Hallel Psalms. (Psalm 115-118.)”
Reading these Psalms in that context, knowing what happens next, just might make me say Hallelujah at the end of every sentence. And right near the end is a very familiar verse:
This is the day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24
I don’t think Jesus sang it weakly, or by rote, or just because it was tradition. I think, knowing what was to come, He sang it with all His heart. Does knowing this affect me in my daily life? Yes, it does. Every. Single. Day.