Lenten devotionals: an interlude

We are now half way through the Lenten period.

This post is again more of a chance to stop and reflect on Lent and our spiritual commitment.

In research for suitable material I came across this beautiful video and thought to share it here.

The whole earth is filled with awe at your wonders;
    where morning dawns, where evening fades,
    you call forth songs of joy.

You care for the land and water it;
    you enrich it abundantly.
The streams of God are filled with water
    to provide the people with grain,
    for so you have ordained it.
[d]
10 You drench its furrows and level its ridges;
    you soften it with showers and bless its crops.
11 You crown the year with your bounty,
    and your carts overflow with abundance.
12 The grasslands of the wilderness overflow;
    the hills are clothed with gladness.
13 The meadows are covered with flocks
    and the valleys are mantled with grain;
    they shout for joy and sing.

Psalm 65: 8-13




Lenten devotionals: day 20

I believe in the holy catholic church, the communion of saints

What is the purpose of the church?

The primary purpose of the church of course is to Worship God. The summary of the law as stated by Jesus is to love God with all our hearts, soul and mind. If this is our daily focus, then we will naturally worship He whom we love. A group of like minded people who get together praise or worship that which connects them.

A group of enthusiasts for a sports team swap stories about their favourite players, games they have watched, how brilliantly they are doing. They worship their team.

Groupies for a particular musician attend concerts and lift their hands in praise to the music.

A church, a group of believers, sharing the same faith, share stories, raise their voices in song and worship their creator, God and saviour.

This is a beautiful thing. Not for the beauty of sound, not for the feeling we get, not even for the joy we share. It is beautiful because God, in His wisdom as creator of all things, made us to worship Him in this way knowing that in so doing, we ourselves would also be blessed by it.

When the church worships, heaven responds.

When the church worships we reach up to God.

When the church worships His name is published.

When the church worships the Spirit moves.

When the church worships things happen.

I enjoy most church music and have wide taste including old hymns, spirituals, gospel, chant and Taise style.

What is your favourite Praise hymn or song?

It will be interesting to find out what variety we have in worship. Share your favourite in comments.

Good night and God bless. Have a great weekend.




Let all the world sing.

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything.” so says Plato. I believe that music can heal, bring communities together and facilitate harmony.

Enter with me into a fascinating combination of beautiful poetry and soulful music that might cheer your spirit enough to sing along.

Enthusiastic Organist: watch his feet in the interlude between verses

I remember singing this hymn with only the fervour a young girl of six or seven can bring to a favoured hymn. To sing it in morning assembly would ensure a successful day. Today it resonates with my wish that all may connect in some part in the joy of music.

The simple melody combined with words having the appeal of both rhyme and rhythm delighted. I was intrigued by old fashioned words, “thither” and phrases, “..the heart must bear the longest part”.

Then, the history and author of the song did not matter I just wanted to feel the harmony of word and music and sing aloud, probably quite untunefully.

Now I am delighted to find the original was by George Herbert, entitled Antiphon. Why does this delight? Since revitalising my interest in George Crabbe and reading connections of the two poets, both being both clergy and poets.

The verses set out in hymn form with last line of music

The usual tune and the one I remember is Luckington. (Follow the links to access the whole tune.)

The following is taken from Ralph Vaughn Williams work, “Mystical Songs”, which combines four other poems by Herbert

Easter, I got me flowers, Love bade me welcome, The call, and Antiphon is the final praise, culminating in the last chorus sung in fortissimo homophony.

Another version, I like the clarity of this but find the modernity a little jarring.

I found myself wanting a version which was even closer to Antiphon than was the Vaughn-Williams. And here is such

Antiphon

Ending on a quiet note is fitting now as we draw this day to a close. I started with a song in my heart looking forward to the day and the opportunities it would bring. I rest now in the peace of tasks accomplished and the joy of communing in your presence. Thank you for joining me, I close with the wisdom of Michael Jackson: “To live is to be musical, starting with the blood dancing in your veins. Everything living has a rhythm. Do you feel your music?”




Praying the Creed: 4

I believe in God the Father Almighty maker of the universe

In the beginning was God:

God: Omnipotent, Omnipresent and Omniscient formed our world.  After each achievement He “saw that it was good” until the last when he formed man.  Then He saw that all He had formed was “very good”.

In this devotion let us focus our thoughts on this creative, almighty God.

I believe that you created me and like the Psalmist,

When my bones were being formed, carefully put together in my mother’s womb, when I was growing there in secret, you knew that I was there— you saw me before I was born. The days allotted to me had all been recorded in your book, before any of them ever began.  Psalm 139:15-16.

As I work I will notice my body as it is able to move, grasp, smile, feel, respond, sing, dance and play.  My eyes will notice colour, shape, light and dark; my hands will feel rough along with smooth, will create as well as clean and remove stains; my ears will respond to different sounds, the bird singing, aeroplanes lifting or lowering as they take off or come into land, family talking, laughing, sharing and yes, arguing but bound by love; my nose will scent the aroma of flowers and dinner cooking and my tongue will taste the product.

Lord, today as I think about this beautiful world that you have created for us my I be ever grateful and thoughtful of my responsibility to live in it.  Remind me that I must share and not be wasteful; that I should see You in each object but most of all see Your handiwork in all people.  I offer up my sacrifice of praise to You 

Amen

Coram Deo