Friday night our Bible study group gathered at Roger and Karen Green’s house with an assignment. “Come with choruses.” We’re not talking Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus, but simple songs we grew up with on Sunday nights at church. Somewhere between then and now, Sunday night church and choruses took a hit from modernity. Well, some of those lyrics and tunes didn’t warrant survival.
Martha led with the chorus from a hymn by John Peterson, “It took a miracle to put the stars in place; It took a miracle to hang the world in space. But when He saved my soul, cleansed and made me whole, it took a miracle of love and grace.” Martha, a miracle in our midst.
We sang together biblical truth and laughed at lyrics designed to entertain. Roger, New Testament professor, recalled his horror when first hearing, “Dropkick me Jesus through the goalposts of life.”
As much as knees allowed, we rose and fell with, “Allelu Allelu Allelu Alleluia, Praise Ye the Lord!”
We sang, “Into my heart, Into my heart , come into my heart, Lord Jesus.” And not a one of us regretted ever having done just that. We remembered, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.” Sung truth.
No piano to aid our singing. Nine folks, all over age 60, remembering and singing songs kept safe by memory until this night, a night marked on the calendar as April Fools Day. A night to remember,”He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep, to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim Elliot
Nine “miracles of love and grace” and not a fool among us.
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I love the image of these good souls raising their voices to praise our Lord. Wish I could have been there too — I would have suggested “He is Lord, He is Lord, He is risen from the dead, and He is Lord, Every knee shall bow, Every tongue confess, that Jesus Christ is Lord.”
Sending love and hugs on this Sunday morning.
My idea of a wonderful time! For my 50th birthday I hosted a hymn sing for myself. It was the best.
In just learning about Lilias Trotter, I think I remember hearing that “Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus” came from something she wrote. Not totally sure about that, though.
Because I was recovering from back surgery I missed all the Holy Week and even Easter services, Jan. I’ve heard nothing but glowing accounts. One friend said that, even though she’s been at Christ Church for decades, she’d never gone to all three Tridium services. Once she heard you preach at the Maundy Thursday service she returned for the next two . . .
Thanks Jan, I am looking for a church that still sings these songs without making me march to Onward Christian Soldiers. My military days are still too fresh!
Jan, thanks for this invitation to a short trip down memory lane. I too have memories of my old favorites – and also some whose theology tripped me up and sometimes led me astray. But I still hum some of the oldies that still speak truth into my soul and joy into my heart. (I hum because those 85-year-old vocal folds don’t obey my intentions very well.)