Reformation Lutheran Church A Congregation of the ELCA

Thursday, February 27

Pastor Mari Larson

Take My Life, That I May Be

Take my will and make it thine;

it shall be no longer mine;

take my heart, it is thine own;

it shall be thy royal throne.

 

Two settings of this hymn are included in our hymnal. The one from my childhood includes these powerful words coupled with a simple, memorable melody written by the lyricist’s father. All those years ago, the intensity of the message was vividly clear, and I had difficulty singing the words during my youth because I knew I couldn’t follow through with them. I could invite God to take maybe fifteen-percent of my life but certainly not all of it! I had plans — important plans — and didn’t want God to mess with them.

 

The “new” melody (copyright 1999) is playful and, when performed on the marimba in Rise Worship, it sounds a bit like the theme from The Little Mermaid. In the playfulness of this hymn, I can recall so many times when God has taken my life without my full consent and done “abundantly far more than I could ask or imagine” (Ephesians 3:20). The melody and rhythm celebrate that dance between God and me, and urge me on to stronger and greater commitment.

 

I often hum it in the mornings with my cat on my lap. I sing it in my car after I have turned off the news in frustration. I try to include it in worship planning more than our other staff prefer. I even tried to sneak it into our Wichita-area “Beer and Hymns” gathering last year, but I was unsuccessful.

 

Remembering what God has already done, and celebrating it by dancing my way through this hymn, helps me to trust God with what is ahead. It’s a work in progress, though. When I hum or sing “Take my life…,” it is not yet a full invitation but a prayer that my willingness will grow far beyond the fifteen-percent of my youth.

 

Gracious God, as I begin this Lenten journey, remind me again that you can be trusted with my life, my hands, my voice, my love, my treasures, and my will. Help me loosen my grip on all that I define as “mine” so that I more willingly and more joyfully give them to you. Amen

 

This song is not available on Spotify, but it is on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mzmYMiw2g9Q

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