Taking thoughts captive

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Location: Midwest, United States

Favorite smells: mown hay, turned earth, summer rain, line-dried laundry

05 August 2005

My Small Corner

This morning I was thinking about my small corner in the Christian writing mansion. Many people do so much more than I do, and do it so much better. But I still have to try to keep my feeble candle lit, even though it often sputters and threatens to go out.

The "small corner" analogy got me wondering which children's song that came from and, looking in an old copy of Action Songs for Boys and Girls, I found "Jesus Bids Us Shine."

Do you remember that one?

Jesus bids us shine, With a clear, pure light,
Like a little candle Burning in the night;
In this world of darkness We must shine,
You in your small corner, And I in mine.

Now the author very like meant that each of us, even small children, can live in a way that witnesses for Christ, no matter how insignificant our lives and actions may seem. But I can see how someone could say this little ditty is anti-evangelistic since the concept of hunkering down in a corner seems to preclude any evangelism efforts.

While I had Action Songs for Boys and Girls in my hands, I began looking up other familiar favorites and examining their theology for the first time. I suspected that some of them reflected an Arminiam or Charismatic bent.

So far, it appears that "Behold, Behold" and "One Door" fall into the Arminian category while "It's Bubbling" and "Happy All the Time" could be classed as Charismatic.

The puzzler for me is that I learned these songs in the Sunday school class for three and four-year-olds of a fairly conservative Reformed congregation in the 1950s. What were those song leaders thinking? Was there a lack of Reformed children's songs? What kind of action songs are children singing in Reformed churches these days?


Anonymous jamiesoles said...

They could sing some of mine, if they like...

These sorts of songs were among the reasons that I started writing kids songs.

8/21/05, 10:11 PM  

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