Sang a new song on Sunday that the younger kids had written during the summer. Can't remember the words (except the line 'God you are healthy' - what's that about??) but do remember the verse valued chocolate as much as the resurrection, and implied that Jesus came at Christmas so we could have presents. I was very happy there had been no attempt to persuade the kids otherwise - the priorities were absolutely those of your average 8-year-old, and I'm sure the heavenly host joined in in the same spirit.
So how to follow this lead, as adults? Instead of singing songs that always reflect where we think we should be directing our thoughts, should we be more honest about where they're really drifting off to?
'Lord you have my heart
but only for an hour,
or else the dinner will burn to a crisp'.
'Here I am, Lord; it is I, Lord,
it's a miracle I made it here today.
I won't say, Lord, that I want to,
but I promise you that I'll still pray.'
Or perhaps we could articulate some of the everyday wonders that we discover as children of God. Stuff like: 'I sometimes get my knickers in a twist, but your love pulls me straight' (a bit 1950's chorus, that one); or maybe, 'thank you Lord, you saved me, from killing my husband, once more' (with verses that substitute husband for 'children', 'livestock' - pets doesn't scan - and 'neighbours'). A favourite for me could be 'Let me sleep Lord; let me lay down in your presence, and drift into your arms / O Lord let me sleep' - though perhaps not right before the sermon.
Songs could also reflect the anguish of living in a fallen world.
'O Lord we've gone and b*****ed it up
the world's in such a mess:
the air is poisoned, the seas are dead
the trees lie felled on the forest bed
and half the people are poorly fed
and so we all confess -
B*****ed it up, Lord, b*****ed it up
O Lord we've b*****ed it up.
Perhaps the lack of poetry expresses something of the heartfelt nature of that particular prayer!