Sacred Music Sunday: Jacob’s Ladder
I remember when I was in seminary we learned one day about the story of Jacob’s vision of a ladder with angels going up and down it. I hadn’t heard the story previously, and I gave it little thought. People were always having odd visions in the Bible, and as visions go, it was less remarkable than winged beasts, giant statues made of various materials, or eating books.
A few years ago, my ward choir sang Jacob’s Ladder, which is a hymn about this story, tying the vision into the mission of Jesus and the eventual rest that awaits the righteous. It was rehearsed as part of our Christmas program. It’s a catchy tune and a fun song to sing, but I didn’t immediately connect it to Christmas because it’s not about the birth of Jesus specifically. It’s more about His death and ascension and our eternal future. But none of that would have happened without His birth, so Christmas it is.
It’s hard to pick a favorite line because it’s all so well-done. But one that really speaks to me is: “and remember, each step that by faith we pass o’er, some prophet or martyr has trod it before.” Sometimes walking the road of discipleship can be lonely, especially when we don’t fit the mold of our wards and stakes. But someone before us has walked this road, and when we reach the top of the ladder, we’ll be welcomed in, and we can meet those who went before.