“Fling wide the portals of your heart; make it a temple, set apart. From earthy use for heaven’s employ, adorned with prayer and love and joy. “Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates. Catherine Winkworth
The verse quoted above comes from the hymn Lift up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates, one of the few Advent songs in the Pilgrim Hymnal. This is the second verse of this hymn that is based on Psalm 24 and sets the stage for what we should be trying to do throughout this season of Advent.
The verse challenges us to fling open our hearts and make room for the spiritual things that we should be welcoming in our lives. We are to turn our hearts from earthly use to heavenly use which will, in turn, bring us love and joy.
It is not often that the theological themes of hymns are explored outside of an academic setting, but this hymn speaks directly to us as we start this season. This is a hymn about a change of heart and transformation of the person.
Although we should be striving to make this change all during the year, it is brought to the forefront of our spiritual eyes during this time of Advent.