Brian’s Reflection: Friday, December 16, 2011
Someday I suspect, when Jesus has definitely
got me for a sunbeam,
my works may be adequately assessed.
Noel Coward, songwriter, actor, singer,
piano player, entertainer;
he was born on this date, 1899
I could have chosen Margaret Mead, the famous anthropologist; she was born on this date, 1901. Or noted the fact that on this date 1773 occurred the Boston Tea Party. Or Gregory Rasputin (hmmmm …. name sounds a lot like …), the infamous Russian monk; he was murdered on this date in 1916. Or the superb head of the Southern Poverty Law Institute, Morris Dees, who is 75 today. But, nope. I couldn’t resist Noel, for many reasons, including that it’s near No-el, and because of the “sunbeam for Jesus”!
It took me back! Sunday School at about age 5 at First Presbyterian Church, Verdun, Quebec. Mrs. Clegg playing the piano – a lovely old-then Presbyterian lady – as we impressionable kiddies sang:
Jesus wants me for a sunbeam / To shine for Him each day
In every way try to please Him / At home, at school, at play
A sunbeam, a sunbeam, Jesus wants me for a sunbeam
A sunbeam, a sunbeam, I’ll be a sunbeam for Him.
Yes, I’ve remembered the words and music for 60 years (and I haven’t sung it since those days). If I were tech-savvy enough, I would have made a little YouTube video with my phone singing it for you and attached it!
I wonder if Mr. Coward learned that song as a little boy? Anyway, I think he is poking fun at the things kids get taught in Sunday School, and at perhaps the ideas that many churchfolk have that if they can just be a “sunbeam for Jesus” they will have (deserve?) a life which will be “adequately assessed” by others.
Maybe. But it’s often not the case.
Well, whatever else this little song may bring to your mind, I would just comment: Jesus, to me, points to the proposition that love of God, self, and others is the heart of being human. I remember the words of Fr. James Huntington, OHC, founder of the Order of the Holy Cross: “Love must act, as Light must shine, and Fire must burn.”
Act. Shine. Burn.