One night a few years ago, my son Andrew (about 5 at the time) asked me to sing “God is Bigger than the Boogie Man.” Somewhere the kids must have seen that particular VeggieTales movie. I’m not a big fan of VeggieTales in general, but I wasn’t lying when I told him, “I don’t really know that one. Can we sing something else?”
That night I sang to him a hymn, which, I explained, basically has the same sentiment. But in my mind, it is far superior to the cute vegetable jingle. This is a song that my boys won’t grow out of, but a song they can grow into. They can sing this one for the rest of their lives, and it will never be cast off as “cute” or “kidsy.” The second thing, and probably even more important, is that this hymn approaches God, who is actually bigger than the boogie man, in his grace and mercy through Jesus Christ, rather than merely through his omniscience and omnipresence. Apart from Jesus, God is no less frightening than the worst of boogie-men.
Since then, this hymn has been the most-requested bedtime hymn in the boys’ room. Just tonight, Isaiah stumbled back out of bed, asking me to come and sing before he fell asleep. I thought it was a most appropriate selection for the eve of Rogate Sunday.
Before the ending of the day,
Creator of the world, we pray.
Your grace and peace to us allow
And guard and keep your people now.
From evil dreams defend our sight,
From all the terrors of the night,
From all deluding thoughts that creep
On heedless minds disarmed by sleep.
O Father, this we ask be done
Through Jesus Christ, your only Son,
Whom with the Spirit we adore
Forever and forevermore. Amen.
Christian Worship #595 Latin hymn c. 6th century
tr. John M. Neale, 1816–66, alt.