Lead me not into temptation
In the church we attended today (and where I think we'll more or less settle in), they're asking for people to drop notes with their favorite hymns on them in the offering plate. The pastor will then try to work them into liturgies on upcoming Sundays. I am, of course, greatly tempted to pick the most glorious, over the top, unknown hymn in the book and put it in the mix, just to see what they'd do with it. I said as much to Deanne this morning.
I also reminded her of a time, many years ago, when we were having a hymn sing on Sunday morning at Tanner Valley UMC. Two junior high boys (Chris Billups and Bruce Newman) eagerly called out a hymn for us to sing. After the service, one of the elderly ladies (who doesn't seem as elderly to me now) said how wonderful it was to see these boys so excited to sing hymns.
Well, sort of. I explained to her that when we were discussing hymns in Confirmation Class, I had told them that when someone picks a hymn you don't like, you sing it boldly, offering it to God as if it were your very favorite. Especially if you don't like it: not only are you mortifying the flesh before God, but you are assisting your brothers and sisters in singing a hymn they probably like very much. So, humility and charity -- it's a winning combo. I also told them in class what my very least favorite hymn in the whole book was. That was, of course, the one they picked that morning. They were checking my bona fides.
I sang that song like it was water to my parched soul; and so, I drove my lesson home with them. I also learned my
lesson, and am more careful about telling people which hymns I don't like, lest they request them for just that reason.