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Saturday, October 8, 2016

Today’s Hymn            

O come and sing unto the Lord;
to God our voices raise;
let us in our most joyful songs
the Lord, our Savior, praise.

Before God’s presence let us come
with praise and thankful voice;
let us sing psalms to God with grace;
with grateful hearts, rejoice.

The Lord our God is King of kings,
above all gods enthroned;
the depths of earth and mountains high
by God alone are owned.

To God the spacious sea belongs;
God made its waves and tides,
and by God’s hand the rising land
was formed and still abides.

O come, and bowing down to God,
our worship let us bring;
yea, let us kneel before the Lord,
our Maker and our King.

“O Come and Sing unto the Lord” (Psalm 95) from The New Metrical Version of the Psalms (tune: Irish)
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal

The most wonderful part of my job is leading a thousand or more people in singing the hymns every Sunday during worship services. Not only is it the most enjoyable, but it is also by far the most important thing I do each week.

When we sing together we are united in one thought, contemplating words that were recently written or words that have shaped Christians for more than a thousand years. As we sing the musical phrases, we even become united in one breath, breathing together at the end of the musical phrase and between each verse. There has been evidence that after a few of these breaths, most of our heart rates even become synchronized, beating together like one heart.

But the unity goes beyond just those in the sanctuary itself, for we are united with generations who have sung these words and notes before us as well as the generations who will sing them after us—one continuous thread of praise to the God who made us.

I am so thankful that Fourth Church is a congregation that loves to sing, lifting our voices to God in an unending hymn of praise. I have a theory that you can tell if a church is healthy just by the way that a congregation sings, and judging from that, Fourth Church is a very healthy church. Thanks be to God!

O God, whom saints and angels delight to worship, help us to sing your praises in all that we do. Help us to sing with joy, knowing that you alone are being glorified. Help us to sing with understanding so that we may know you more fully. Help us to sing with abandon so that we may be lost in your love and wonder. Amen.

Written by John W. W. Sherer, Organist and Director of Music

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