In over 22 years of music ministry I don’t think that I have ever begun two services in a row with the same hymn. But I did this week. We sang “a Mighty Fortress Is Our God” last week because it fit so well with Pastor Mike’s sermon on Psalm 42. We sang it this week because I was challenged by this short article on the phrase for that hymn: “one little word shall fell him.” What little word would destroy Satan? Pastor Mike “parked and barked” there for a moment. Then we sang the last stanza of “In Christ Alone” that reminds us we have “no guilt in life, no fear in death.” And just before Pastor Mike prayed, we sang together the last stanza of “And Can It Be” by Charles Wesley: “No condemnation now I dread!” It’s always amazing how much more enthusiastically the church family sings when they have been inspired spiritually!
Jennifer Dorr was baptized and her church family rejoiced! Then the choir sang a unique choir setting that pairs a famous Mozart chiral piece with the gospel song “Glorious Is They Name.” It is exciting music that sounds glorious so it reinforces the text. After the choir, I reminded the congregation that music is not a spectator sport. So we all joined in singing that same song—not the Mozart, of course! He did not write music for us regular folk. But we sang the hymn from our hymnal. I teased the congregation after we finished that hymn that the next time they sang long melismatic (one word on many notes of music) “glorias” would be Christmas time. I wonder how many people immediately thought of “Angels We Have Heard on High”? The chorus always reminds me of the chorus of “Glorious Is Thy Name.” And I wonder how many people thought, “What is Pastor Dave rambling about now?”
Pastor Mike asked me early in the week to sing “As the Deer” because the song text is directly from the Psalm he was preaching on. So to transition between the exuberant “Glorious Is Thy Name” and the meditative “As the Deer,” we sang another song about the name of Jesus: “It’s in His Name.”
We sang “Listen to His Voice” for the last time (as a chorus-of-the-month anyway.) Next week I’ll introduce a new Bryson song.
Colin Paine closed our service with a sweet offertory of the old Irish hymn “Be Thou My Vision” as a piano solo. He played it beautifully interpreting the words for us to meditate on as we went out into the world to show them Jesus.
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