Carol Evans, our amazing Music Director, asked our choir members to select their favorite hymns and pieces for Music Sunday. Along with this request she also asked folks to share their thoughts about why the music that they chose is so meaningful to them. Here are some of the thoughts that we have received so far – we’ll be updating this post throughout the week as we receive more reflections. We hope you enjoy their thoughts and will join us on Music Sunday and let us know what your favorite church music is and why in the comment section below!
“I Love To Tell The Story” has special memories for me. When I hear it I am taken back to my Sunday School years and am reminded of the strong influence of my parents and grandparents on my faith journey. More recently, I can hear Joe Spare singing what was one of his favorite songs. Both recollections hold a special place in my heart.
Be Still and Know That I Am God: I share reflections on this beloved song. This phrase comes from Psalm 46:10, “Be still, and know that I am God; / I will be exalted among the nations, / I will be exalted in the earth.”
The word still is a translation of the Hebrew word rapa, meaning “to slacken, let down, or cease.” Christians often interpret the command to “be still” as “to be quiet in God’s presence.” While quietness is certainly helpful, the phrase means to stop frantic activity, to let down, and to be still. For God’s people being “still” would involve looking to the Lord for their help (cf. Exodus 14:13); for God’s enemies, being “still” would mean ceasing to fight a battle they cannot win.
Know that I am God. Know in this instance means “to properly ascertain by seeing” and “acknowledge, be aware.” How does acknowledging God impact our stillness? We know that He is omniscient (all-knowing), omnipresent (present everywhere), omnipotent (all-powerful), holy, sovereign, faithful, infinite, and good. Acknowledging God implies that we can trust Him and surrender to His plan because we understand who He is. (http://www.gotquestions.org/be-still-and-know-that-I-am-God.html)
Hal Schwartz, Jr.
First let me say your direction brings more meaning to all the anthems we sing..Thank you!!
“Be Still and know that I am God” makes me feel a “oneness with God” renewing, strengthening my faith and giving me a calmness in my daily life.
In answer to your request for commentary regarding the selections for Music Sunday, I offer the following: Some background on the inspiring spiritual hymn, “These are the Days of Elijah.” It was composed in 1995 by Robin Mark, an Irish composer, worship leader and recording artist.
According to him, he wrote it on one Sunday morning!
While I was not the one who originally nominated this title for our Music Sunday, I do think it is important to point to the repeated images throughout the song. The main characters, Elijah, Moses, Ezekiel, and David demonstrated profound hope given to them by God. Then, the promise of Christ’s return (“Behold he comes”) is a stirring series of images as we would watch the returning Christ riding triumphantly on a bed of clouds with the sun shining amid the sound of trumpets. The repetition of “there is no god like Jehovah” gives strength to the power of our God.