And the raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting
On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door.
And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming;
And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws the shadow on the floor;
And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor
Shall be lifted -- nevermore!
The first verse has no mention of the raven. What happened in between? And who was at the door?
What if you are watching a movie and are called away right after it starts and aren't back until the last few minutes of the show? You have no idea what the plot is. Don't you hate that? Imagine watching "Gone With the Wind" and see Scarlett being laced into her corset and going to the party. Then you see her sitting on her steps talking about going back to Tara. The beginning and the end. You missed the entire Civil War, Reconstruction, marriages, the deaths of Bonnie and Melanie -- I could go on and on with that movie.
We don't just do that singing Christmas carols. Each week when we start to sing hymns, we will be told "only the first and last verses."
I love putting on a CD and singing right along, with every verse, with the artist.
Something vital is missing when we take shortcuts. A song is a story put to music. Sure, we know the story, but do you really want to miss out on the juiciest parts? And what if there is a guest who doesn't know the song (or story). Isn't that person missing out on the entire message?
Music has always been a vital part of worshipping God. It seems like cutting the song short is like taking away from worship. When I was a little girl, we always sang at least five songs in church as a congregation. Now, two or three is the norm. How things have changed. When you don't sing the whole song, you only receive part of the blessing that music brings to us.
Keep a song in your heart, whether singing all of the verses or not.
Jean Richardson, of Dunbar, may be emailed at readerp...@gmail.com.