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Wednesday, July 23, 2014
Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of love!
Hearts unfold like flowers before thee,
Opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day.
Henry van Dyke’s “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore thee”
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal
A woman asked my colleague if she could join the choral society at his church, and he said, “Of course, everyone is welcome.” She went on to tell him that she had never sung in a choir before because she was told as a child that she had a terrible voice and should never try to sing. He said it was never too late to try. Well, she really did not have a great voice, but she stayed with the choral society for their concert and sang her heart out. When the concert was over, she thanked my colleague for letting her sing and said, “I never knew I could be part of something so beautiful.”
That is what church is all about: lifting each other up to a higher place, a place where we are all part of something more beautiful than we thought was possible. Each of us can bring many gifts to the church, some for teaching, some for accounting, some for prayer, some for making music. Being the church means carrying each other to a more beautiful realm where we can all be more whole and live more fully into what God is calling us to be. Ultimately church becomes a place where heaven and earth are brought closer together, where we can catch glimpses of that heavenly beauty where we will all sing together. Someday we will all sing with the angels in heaven and say, “I never knew I could be part of something so beautiful.”
“Joyful, joyful, we adore thee, God of glory, Lord of love! Hearts unfold like flowers before thee, opening to the sun above. Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away. Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day.” Amen.
Reflection written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music
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