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Janice T. (Alliance & Short-term team member)

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Every day all around the globe, artists on mission are creating, cultivating, and contributing in their communities. As they seek to see their art used in the work the Lord is doing, we want to share their stories to encourage and inspire.
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Friday, 28 July 2023 18:58

Music & Memories

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Music connects us to our Creator and the creation, but it also connects us to our memories. Recently, one of our Alliance members was reminded of this fact as she listened to some beautiful music at church.

"The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms." Deuteronomy 33:27 

What a fellowship, what a joy divine, 

Leaning on the everlasting arms; 

What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,  

Leaning on the everlasting arm.  

Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms; 

Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

 

Oh, how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,

Leaning on the everlasting arms; 

Oh, how bright the path grows from day to day,

Leaning on the everlasting arms. 

Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms; 

Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

 

What have I to dread, what have I to fear,

Leaning on the everlasting arms; 

I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,

Leaning on the everlasting arms. 

Leaning, leaning, Safe and secure from all alarms; 

Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms. 

My cynical self rarely cries at church anymore, but yesterday the floodgates let loose. We had a hymn lesson/singing service, and the emotions brought on by memories of old hymns were building up. Then the music minister sang the hymn above as a solo, accompanied by a guitar—I was a blubbering mess. 

When I was young, I asked my mother what church denomination she attended as a child. She responded, "Whatever preacher showed up to preach on that Sunday."  Her little rural, north Georgia community church depended on itinerant or circuit ministers.  I am sure some theology got a little confusing sometimes, but there was always some good singing (or "sanging"). Mama would reminisce, " The Sundays when a preacher did not show up were my favourite. We would just sing and sing."  

Music connects us to our Creator and the creation, and yesterday I was reminded of how it connects us to our loved ones who have passed on. I could feel the men and women singing these beloved hymns. They were not trained vocalists, but their four-part harmony would have made any choir director proud. They would be accompanied by a piano player who knew just about every song by heart and played those notes from one end of the keyboard to the other. From their hard-working lives, these rural churchgoers longed to come together, worship together and connect with God and each other in song and music. And, of course, there was always some fried chicken and banana pudding for dinner on the ground following those beautiful services. 

May you rediscover music that connects you to beautiful memories and helps you reminisce about loved ones.

Here's a version of the hymn above for you to enjoy...

 

Last modified on Friday, 28 July 2023 19:25

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