Have you ever had a lyric of a song, a scripture verse, or a saying that is just stuck in your head? Sometimes it is a song that you hear on the radio or your iPod or something that you read in a book or poem or a quote in a movie. Maybe something your parents said to you one time and out of the blue you remember it and you cannot get it out of your mind for days or weeks. Sometimes you can’t remember were you heard it or read it, but it just comes to your mind and you can’t get it out of your head. It could be from days, weeks or years ago that you heard or read it, but now it wont go away. It is on your mind when you wake up, it comes to your mind during the day and it is stuck in your head while lying in bed at night. So now you are asking yourself, why? What does this mean? Is God trying to tell me something?
Well, for the past number of weeks I have had the words “Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest” going through my head. I had not heard those words for years. I remember the full words of this prayer or hymn.
Holy, holy, holy Lord God of hosts.
The heavens and earth are full of your glory.
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he who comes in the name of the lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Many of you from a catholic background will probably recognize this prayer. It is also called the Sanctus (Holy). The prayer is composed of two sections, both inspired by scripture, each ending with the phrase, ‘Hosanna in the highest’. The first section reminds us of an image of God’s heavenly throne and the unending worship that surrounds it found in the books of Isaiah and Revelation.In the story from Isaiah, the prophet is initiated into his calling by means of a heavenly, startling vision.
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: with two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty;? the whole earth is full of his glory.’
At the sound of their voices the doorposts and thresholds shook and the temple was filled with smoke.
‘Woe to me!’ I cried. ‘I am ruined! For I am a man of unclean lips, and I live among a people of unclean lips, and my eyes have seen the King, the Lord Almighty.’ Isaiah 6: 1-5
At the end of the vision one of the seraphs takes up a burning coal with tongs from before the altar and burns Isaiah’s guilt away from his lips.
John the writer of the book of Revelation underwent a similar experience and made conscious allusion to the Isaiah passage.
At once I was in the Spirit, and there before me was a throne in heaven with someone sitting on it. And the one who sat there had the appearance of jasper and ruby. A rainbow that shone like an emerald encircled the throne. Surrounding the throne were twenty-four other thrones, and seated on them were twenty-four elders. They were dressed in white and had crowns of gold on their heads. From the throne came flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder. In front of the throne, seven lamps were blazing. These are the seven spirits of God. Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal.
In the centre, round the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and behind. The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all round, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying:
‘“Holy, holy, holy
is the Lord God Almighty,”
who was, and is, and is to come.’
The second section comes from the story of Jesus’ arrival in Jerusalem on a donkey amid the cheers of the people crying out for salvation.
As they approached Jerusalem and came to Bethphage on the Mount of Olives, Jesus sent two disciples, saying to them, ‘Go to the village ahead of you, and at once you will find a donkey tied there, with her colt by her. Untie them and bring them to me. If anyone says anything to you, say that the Lord needs them, and he will send them right away.’
This took place to fulfill what was spoken through the prophet:
‘Say to Daughter Zion,? “See, your king comes to you,? gentle and riding on a donkey,? and on a colt, the foal of a donkey.”
The disciples went and did as Jesus had instructed them. They brought the donkey and the colt and placed their cloaks on them for Jesus to sit on. A very large crowd spread their cloaks on the road, while others cut branches from the trees and spread them on the road. The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted,
‘Hosanna to the Son of David!’
‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’
‘Hosanna in the highest heaven!’
“Heaven and earth are full of your glory. Hosanna in the highest” has been stuck in my head at different times for a while now and I have been asking and wondering what and if God is saying something to me. What these words has reminded me is that Jesus is the God of glory and that salvation is only found in Him.
Now I know there are various theories that may explain why this happens (getting things stuck in your head).
Dr Vicky Williamson, a memory expert at Goldsmith’s College in London, found that scientists use a range of terms to describe the subject when it comes to music – stuck-song syndrome, sticky music, and cognitive itch, or most commonly “earworm”. Earworms which are a special type of musical imagery. An earworm is a short part of a tune that comes into your head and then repeats for a while, for anything from a few minutes to hours. It can have words or it can just be a melody or a rhythm. Earworms are generally very persistent and it can be difficult to make them stop!
Whatever you think about this I would love to hear from you on this subject.
- What song, scripture, movie quote have you had stuck in your head?
- How do you feel when this happens to you?