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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Sunday, April 30, 2017
Sunday, April 23, 2017
Sunday, April 16, 2017
Sometimes I feel like shouting, Glory, glory, glory!"
Monday, April 10, 2017
But, as the songwriter indicates, the greatest evidence of God’s graciousness is that “(He) demonstrated His love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Rom. 5:8)
The changeless, wise and still;
The absolute, eternal One;
You wield the sov’reign will.
Deep Heav’n itself and even time,
Must bend beneath Your sway.
With whispered thought You banish night,
With flash of blinding day.
Great mountains heed Your call.
Majestic swirls of galaxies,
Adorn Your royal hall.
The centuries are lumps of clay,
Shaped by Your strength and skill.
You mold the long millennia,
Your vast, astonishing might;
Their flaming jewels rejoice for You,
In silent shouts of light.
With sure and sovereign strokes, Your hands,
Finger the cosmic strings,
And play celestial symphonies.
As all creation sings.
Stunned seraphs blush, amazed;
Great Michael sheaths the sword that, at,
The Gate of Eden, blazed.
And Gabriel sets his trump aside,
And listens to his Lord,
As Love, incomprehensible,
Becomes the Living Word.
The size of this event:
The glorious Godhead shudders as,
Though Very God of Very God,
He counts it all but loss,
And comes and suffers as a man,
From manger to the Cross.