James' bedtime routine had become rather lengthy a short bit ago: reading, singing 2-3 songs, praying, chatting, tucking in, drink of water... and around we'd go. So when we stayed with our friends' two sons at the end of June, we would just put James in bed, pray for him and kiss him goodnight before closing the door. Returning home, we continued to keep the low key, "essentials-only" routine for the past few weeks.
Ben had forwarded me an excellent article on why we should sing. I finally read it today. Ben was encouraging me to make singing more part of James' and my day. Which reminded me that bedtime is an ideal time for singing - especially for focusing James' thoughts on the greatness of God and the gospel as he goes to sleep.
So tonight, before bed, while we were waiting for Daddy to come upstairs, I sang a couple of songs. And when Daddy arrived, James asked specifically for Jesus Loves Me and The Gospel Song. So we sang Jesus Loves Me while James & I rocked. Daddy did the hand motions. As we tucked our boy into bed, we began to sing The Gospel Song, complete with the verse (of sorts) that was sung at both our church's 25th Anniversary Presentation and in Pilgrim, the high school musical our senior high ministry did this past spring. James joined us, singing out clearly each of the words:
Deep within my heart
There's a river of sin and pride
It covers all I say and all I do
Daily there's a war with the idols
I've served so long
Oh how I long to be free
Holy God in love became
Perfect man to bear my blame
On the Cross He took my sin
By His death
I live again
As we ended the song, James looked into my eyes and said with precious innocence, "Sank you for singing da Gospel Song wif me."