One of the sweetest memories from my childhood was having my mother turn on the radio in mid-morning and hearing the Haven of Rest Quartet program, announced by the ship's bells.
I grew up in the world of gospel quartets, and I never quite acquired the taste for that music that most of my family did. To me, much of it was showy, fluffy, cheesy, and as I began to see in later years, theologically shallow at best and error-filled at worst. I did appreciate close harmonies and musical precision, and some of the mid-century quartets at least provided that. (Many did not, and I developed a disdain for sloppy music long before I could sense sloppy theology.)
But the Haven of Rest Quartet was different. They had the best blend of harmony, quality arrangements, and solid lyrics; and the heart of their music was hymns, beautifully and tastefully presented with no dramatic sliding basses or tenors vying for mezzo-soprano positions. My home was enriched by their radio program and LP albums for most of my early years, a gift for which I am still grateful.
It's amazing how music is stored in the brain and can recall vivid scenes, emotions, and relationships that are hard to "dredge up" any other way. Tami had a great post on this just yesterday. So this morning as our congregation opened our hymnals and the piano played the introduction to "My Faith Has Found a Resting Place", I was once again nine years old, taking my seat at the kitchen table to listen to the sweet, smooth strains of the Haven of Rest. This was, along with "I've Anchored My Soul in the Haven of Rest", one of their "theme songs" and beckoned us at 9:30 to turn off "Andy of Mayberry" and be immersed in the world of what was then referred to as "sacred" music. Far from resenting it (even though I might have fussed a little) I savored the excellence and the peace that exuded from these voices.
And so, as a treat to myself and a "thank you" to the Father for planting this another priceless hymns in my brain and heart, I reprint here the precious words:
My faith has found a resting place, from guilt my soul is freed;
I trust the ever-living One, his wounds for me shall plead.
Enough for me that Jesus saves, this ends my fear and doubt;
a sinful soul I come to him, he'll never cast me out.
My heart is leaning on the Word, the written Word of God;
salvation by my Saviour's name, salvation thro' his blood.
My great Physician heals the sick, the lost he came to save;
for me his precious blood he shed, for me his life he gave.
I need no other argument, I need no other plea,
it is enough that Jesus died and that he died for me.
And with that, the Sunday Snippets ends for today. The Papa and I, who two weeks ago celebrated our 34th anniversary, continue the celebration today by a night on the River Walk and I'm going to pack :-)