What comes to mind when you think about the word, anthem? Three very different things pop into my head. The first (surely a result of hanging out in churches), is a song sung by a choir, whose lyrics are usually taken from a Biblical passage. The second (undoubtedly a result of attending lots of sporting event) is our national anthem, The Star-Spangled Banner. The third (a result of age) is Anthem, the Medicare supplemental insurance we selected and from which we receive almost daily mail. They must really like me, because I’ve received three plasticized Rx coverage cards and our coverage doesn’t even begin until July 1.
I’ve been thinking about how broken things seem right now, in our country, in our world, on our planet. This isn’t the first time and, unfortunately not the last time, but this is our time. One of my friends in Hawaii gave a jade bracelet to one of our granddaughters, and explained that as she got older, it could be broken and made bigger by mending it with gold.
The apostle Paul intimates the same thing in 2 Corinthians 4:7, when he writes, “We have this treasure in clay pots so that the awesome power belongs to God and doesn’t come from us”. Somehow, it is in the midst of our brokenness that things get repaired. And just maybe, by God’s grace, the repair is exquisitely beautiful.
And that brings me back to the word anthem, which is also a title for a Leonard Cohen song. The third refrain goes like this:
Ring the bells that still can ring
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That’s how the light gets in.
Ring the bells that still can ring as an act of hope and worship. ~ Anne