May 28, 2017

Musical Stories

I became a Christian in 1973 in Centerville, Ohio. In case history is not your strong suit, this was the height of the Jesus People movement. And it was also one of the most tumultuous times our nation has ever experienced. Some wondered if we would make it another three years to our bicentennial. The […]

Another Look at a Favorite Hymn

Ever since I was a child, one of my favorite hymns has been, “This Is My Father’s World“, by Rev. Maltbie D. Babcock. I’m sure what first caught my attention was its lovely melody, which is said to have been adapted from an English folk tune by Franklin L. Sheppard. This hymn (or poem as […]

The Life Of Faith

One of my favorite hymns, I Heard The Voice Of Jesus Say by Horatius Bonar, outlines beautifully the process of the Christian life in three stanzas. The first stanza begins with my most pressing need:  rest.  I am “weary and worn and sad,” battered by the world, by work, by relationships, by senselessness and violence […]

A Hymn for Ordinary Time (12): Praise to the Lord, the Almighty

By Chaplain Mike One of Bach’s cantatas for Trinity 12 takes a different form. Cantata BWV 137 creates variations on the five verses of Joachim Neander’s great hymn, “Lobe den Herren, den mächtigen König der Ehren,” which English hymn singers know as, “Praise to the Lord, the Almighty.” This happens to be one of my […]

A Hymn for Ordinary Time (11): A Song of Peace

By Chaplain Mike As we look forward to our week of remembering 9/11, I offer the following hymn of peace for your meditation today. This words of the first two stanzas to this hymn, which is sung to the melody of Finlandia, were written by Lloyd Stone in the years between World War I and […]

A Hymn for Ordinary Time (10): A Great (the Greatest?) Gospel Hymn

By Chaplain Mike From The Center for Church Music, here is the story of today’s hymn, perhaps the greatest hymn about the evangelical conversion experience ever written: Charles Wesley, founder of the movement known as Methodism with his brother, John, was ordained as a priest in the Church of England in 1735. However, three years […]

A Hymn for Ordinary Time (9): For the Beauty of the Earth

By Chaplain Mike On this Lord’s Day, we present a familiar hymn of praise by which we thank God for his common grace and the gifts of beauty and love that flow from it. For the Beauty of the Earth For the beauty of the earth For the glory of the skies, For the love […]

Come, People of the Risen King

By Chaplain Mike A song calling the church to come as one to praise Christ, by one of our best contemporary hymn-writers, Stuart Townend, and performed in concert by Keith and Kristyn Getty.

A Hymn for Ordinary Time (8): A Prayer for the Church

By Chaplain Mike Timothy Dudley-Smith, whose biography of the late John Stott will most certainly be read by many this year in the light of Stott’s passing, is one of the truly fine British hymn writers of the past century. He has penned over 300 texts, and his hymns have been published in over 250 […]

A Hymn for Ordinary Time (7): For Ecclesia Week

By Chaplain Mike The following words are from the Preface to Lyra Fidelium: Twelve Hymns on the Twelve Articles of the Apostles Creed, by S.J. Stone (1866) Most clergymen are aware how many of their parishioners, among the poor especially, say the Creed in their private prayers. And they cannot but feel how this excellent […]