From the Minister of Music….

Hour of the Wolf

Ingmar Bergman, the Swedish filmmaker, directed a psychological horror film released in 1968 entitled Hour of the Wolf. This bizarre surreal film tells the nightmarish story of an artist who is haunted by insomnia, paranoia and strange dreams between midnight and dawn. Bergman calls this the “Hour of the Wolf” and explains: “It is the hour when most people die, sleep is deepest, when nightmares are most real. It is the hour when the sleepless are haunted by their deepest fear, when ghosts and demons are most powerful. The Hour of the Wolf is also the hour when most children are born.” Apparently, the early hours before dawn have deep significance in Swedish and Scandinavian folklore and Bergman called on this material for his grotesque film.

If you have lived life for any length of years, you have most likely faced some “hour of the wolf,” a dark time when you are tired, worn down, and overwhelmed with concern and fears real or imagined. Often during these dark times, it is hard to remember seasons of light and peace and rest. Happy times, assurance, and clarity seem gone forever.
In planning for this season of Lent, I considered the journey of Jesus to the cross, his forty days in the wilderness alone, his betrayal by his closest friends, his torment that even the Heavenly Father had abandoned him, and the horrific physical torment he endured. I wondered of the isolation, anxiety, and fears he must have felt during his very real “season of the wolf.”

The point of all this is to affirm that Jesus does know the despair and fears we know in our own times of darkness because he has experienced them as well. As Christians, we are not spared from suffering, pain and darkness, but we can have hope, especially during dark difficult times, that God will carry us through the “hour of the wolf” to the light, rest, and peace of a new day.

Listed below are hymns that have given me comfort and assurance during dark and difficult times.

· Be Still My Soul (Celebrating Grace, Hymn #57)
· Come, Ye Disconsolate
· Give to the Wind Your Fears (Celebrating Grace, Hymn #55)
· How Firm a Foundation (Celebrating Grace, Hymn #425)
· I Must Tell Jesus 
· In Deepest Night (Celebrating Grace, Hymn #70)
· It Is Well with My Soul (Celebrating Grace, Hymn #573)
· We, O God, Unite Our Voices (Celebrating Grace, Hymn #508)