The medieval hymns we were assigned to read give off beautiful poetical phrases that were meant to motivate christians to keep standing.
One thing that remained in common between all these hymns, was that christians should be looking into the after-life and making sure to prepare themselves for that time. They shouldn’t care about their achievements in life on earth, because it won’t matter anyway once you pass away. Even those who don’t believe in God or those who don’t consider themselves christians can agree that it doesn’t matter how much money you make or how many medals, nobel peace prizes, or some other kind of achievement you earn, once you’re gone, you’re gone. You can’t take any of that with you and there’s no one in the after-life to congratulate you on your earthly achievements.
Just imagine a scenario in which a person is the big deal on earth. Everyone knows who he/she is and what he/she does. This person earns a lot of money for doing what they do, best. Then there comes a day when he/she passes away. The money will naturally be given to someone he/she was close to on earth. Now who knows what’s going to happen exactly in the after-life. One thing’s for sure, that no one is going to bring out a big cake or show up with balloons and fireworks to celebrate his/her accomplishments achieved on earth. Material things (like money) don’t belong in an immaterial life (after-life), therefore he/she can’t have money in their pockets in an after-life.
I got a bit off topic there, but I hope you got the point I mentioned, about focusing on working with yourself and not the fame/popularity/wealth on earth while you’re still living. Christians should make God their priority and not earthly matters.
These hymns were written during the times when christians were under persecution. By persecution I mean getting beat up for their faith or even killed (martyred). During these difficult times christians still find peace or something to look up to which is God. In my opinion these hymns may have given them the strength needed to overcome physical and mental difficulties, but it certainly didn’t give them the courage to exercise political leadership. Given the circumstances they were in it’s almost impossible to gain control when they were the ones being controlled. Besides, trying to gain power for good intentions wasn’t exactly worth it. That’s why they focused on the way they should behave in order to make themselves worthy for the after-life.
The fact that the martyrs, for example, were able to live their life for christ and willingly die for him and to hear about these things today just how strong christianity was back then. They didn’t need political powers to tell others whenever all they had to do, was to show others about christ by acting/living like a true follower to make the others feel something about God too.
Thanks for reading this essay. Hope you learned something or just enjoyed reading through it. Have a great rest of your day and I’ll be posting more soon!