Thursday, September 16, 2004

O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing*

I have just come back from a choir rehearsal and my throat's feeling a bit strained, which is to be expected since I don't have formal training and the only singing I do is in church once a week.

It's all my pastor's fault, really. Last Sunday his sermon was on BeholdMePeople (yes he insisted it was one word) and he challenged each parishioner to be a BeholdMePerson. A BeholdMePerson is one who answers God's call for people to do His work. It's kind of like those people who jump up and down and wave their hands and shout "Me! Me!" when someone asks for volunteers (my interpretation). Of course I didn't stand up and jump up and down and shout "Me! Me! I wanna be a BeholdMePerson!". But I did remember an urgent appeal by The Celebration Chorus for male voices sent to me just a couple of days before. So I went back and looked at it, and it seemed that the yoke was easy and the burden was light, and I saw that it was good.

So I will be lending my unpolished and comparatively mediocre voice (the tenor next to me tonight was far better) to the effort for the next 6 weeks, and by God's grace it will turn out well. The only disappointment tonight was discovering that we were going to sing the English translation of F. B. Mendelssohn's Hymn of Praise. I was so looking forward to the German. :P

*Wesley wrote this hymn to commemorate the first anniversary of his conversion to Christ. This origin is reflected in the lyrics, “On this glad day the glorious Sun of Righteousness arose.” The stanza that begins “O for a thousand tongues to sing” is verse seven of Wesley’s original poem. This work first appeared in Hymns and Sacred Poems in 1740.


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