music notes

Dear FUMC,

Recently, I was asked “what is your favorite anthem?”  I guess my answer would have to be that I don’t have one favorite anthem.  We have so many wonderful anthems in our music library.  These anthems are filled with triumph and hope as well as challenges for us.  In choosing anthems, I try to have interesting music and meaningful lyrics.  So for this, my final Music Notes, I thought I would present lyrics which caused me to love that particular anthem.  These lyrics are part of musical offerings which the Chancel Choir has presented on Sunday mornings over the years.  So here goes.

 Love shall tread out the baleful fire of anger and in its ashes plant the tree of peace.

 Grace is our miracle.

 My will is done when the people come, my truth will set them free.  But how will they know if you do not go and bring them in.

 Only under God can we know freedom through the power of His name.  Unless the father builds this house, our labor is in vain.  For whom the son sets free is free indeed and there is liberty only under God.

 God is listening when we speak them.  There is power in whispered prayers.

 The hands that first held Mary’s child were hard from working wood.  From boards they sawed and planed and filed and splinters they withstood.  This day they gripped no tool of steel, they drove no iron nail, but cradled from the head to heel our Lord newborn and frail.

 Praise to the Lord of the frail and the ill, who heals their afflictions, or carries them till they leave this tired frame and to paradise fly, to never be sick and never to die.  Praise Him, O praise Him all ye who yet live, who’ve been given so much and can so little give.  Our frail, lisping praise God will never despise.  He sees His dear children through mercy-filled eyes.

 (This final quote is from the anthem, “Song of the Saints” and is from the perspective of those who have gone on to their reward.)  For our faith was never futile as we trusted in the Lord; every word now has been proven; all we knew and even more.  Every promise Christ has given through our voyage was proven true.  Christ prepared for us a mansion and a mansion waits for you.

By reading the inspiring lines above, I believe that you can see why I can’t possibly choose one anthem to like best.  And there are more anthems with lyrics that are very meaningful which space does not permit me to include.  I pray that reading these lines, you have been inspired in some way as I have been every time the Chancel Choir sang these anthems.  I will miss the joy of directing this music as well as the love and support FUMC has given to both me and the choirs.  Thank you all.

God bless,
Billy