THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG
I am the song leader in my church. I am not very proficient as a musician or a choral director. I pray that, someday soon, God will send someone more capable, to take this ministry from me. But for the time being it is my responsibility to select the music and lead the congregation in the singing every week.
I take that responsibility seriously. The hymns and songs that I select must be doctrinally sound, they must be appropriate for worship with a God-centered worldview, and, withing those parameters, I try to select music that will reinforce and, support the text and subject of my pastor’s messages.
Some of us have been singing the hymns for years; the words roll off our lips but the messages often don't engage our minds or penetrate our hearts. With the apostle Paul, I want the congregation to "sing with understanding."
So for the past couple years, it has been my practice to select one hymn each week, research it, and then highlight it with a short introductory commentary so that the congregation will be more informed regarding the origin, the author's testimony, or the doctrinal significance of the hymns we sing.
It is my intention here with this blog, to archive these hymn commentaries for my reference and to make them freely available to other church song leaders. For ease of reference, all the hymn commentaries in this blog will be titled IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Other posts (which will be music ministry related opinion pieces) will be printed in lower case letters.
I know that some of the comments contain traces of my unique style, but please feel free to adapt them and use the content any way you can for the edification of your congregation and to the glory of God.
All I ask is that you leave a little comment should you find something helpful.
Ralph M. Petersen
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Tuesday, February 14, 2017
Monday, February 13, 2017
Sunday, February 5, 2017
Monday, January 30, 2017
Those kinds of lessons from nature are not accidental. God has purposefully designed everything in His creation for His own praise and glory. So, it should be no surprise whenever we find natural object lessons that reveal or teach us something about Him.
And they occur in His Word too. For example, the Aesop tale of the “Ant and the Grasshopper” was inspired by Proverbs 6. In it, a wise man is compared to a hard-working and industrious ant, in contrast to the laziness of a sluggard.
In some ways, this hymn is reminiscent of Psalm 23. It reveals just how needy and dependent we are. But it also comforts us with many reminders of how our Great Shepherd cares for us:
- He feeds us
- He calms us for rest
- He guides us
- He provides for all our needs
- We belong to Him; He redeemed us
- He is our Friend; our guardian
- He chastens us when we stray
- He hears us when we call
- He treats us with mercy and kindness
- He loves us
- He cares for us
- He cleans and grooms us