Thursday, December 10, 2015

COMMENTARY: Let’s sing

By Jerry Wolgemuth, Director of Communications

I enjoy quotes of the famed Leonard Bernstein. These three come to mind:
“To achieve great things, two things are needed; a plan, and not quite enough time.”

“Music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable.”
The one that seems to be for the moment is: “This will be our reply to violence: to make music more intensely, more beautifully, more devotedly than ever before.”

Fear is a dangerous thing. It can, and has, brought people, communities, and nations to ruin. Is it any wonder that “fear not” is such a common directive in our Scriptures. God knows our human tendency to become so frightened of the known, and the unknown, that we must be reminded so often, “be not afraid.”

When fear strikes, often the antidote is some kind of music. The Maria von Trapps of this world get children singing in the midst of fear. Some of the songs we sing have been birthed in the midst of fear and disaster: shipwreck, slavery, storm, death — you name it.

Many of us may have a favorite song that comes to mind when fear strikes. I’ll sing mine. You sing yours.

O God, our help in ages past, 
our hope for years to come, 
our shelter from 
the stormy blast,
and our eternal home. 

Under the shadow of thy throne, 
still may we dwell secure; 
Sufficient is thine arm alone, 
and our defense is sure. 

Before the hills in order stood, 
or earth received her frame, 
from everlasting, thou art God, 
to endless years the same. 

A thousand ages, in thy sight, 
are like an evening gone; 
short as the watch
that ends the night,
before the rising sun. 

Glad we could get together.

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