...and the way it accompanies the heights and depths. This past week I played for a wedding last Saturday (including a risky Trumpet Voluntary from memory that actually did fly!), then for a service on Sunday, then for chapels last Thursday and Friday at the International Center, then for a funeral today of one of the sweetest and most wonderful ladies it has even been my privilege to know (during that I accompanied David as he sang Fleischmann's outstanding "Little Lamb"), then for service tonight, and will play (God willing) for service tomorrow.
I love music beyond words, but get more than a tad nervous at public performance. Still, there is something so awesome about assisting the people of God in offering their sacrifice of praise. The joy ends up outweighing the terror.
AND every once in a while there's a hymn that gathers into itself the heights and the depths and offers a a glimpse of sublime glory. I got to play such a critter twice today: "Lord, Thee I Love." Truly one of my all time favorite hymns; indeed, my favorite of all the favorites.
And what a joy to play! There is something about pulling back at the start of stanza three and then letting all heaven break loose with the "And then from death awaken me..." Only, the organ can't make the sound big enough, bright enough for that moment. But it can give a foretaste of resurrection joy.
Which is all a way of saying: Thank you, dear Lord, for the gift of music! For the songs of Your Church to accompany and accomplish our journey through the ups and downs and finally home to You.
"And the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come to Zion with singing, and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads. They shall obtain gladness and joy, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away." Isaiah 35:10
"Lord Jesus Christ, my prayer attend, my prayer attend, and I will praise Thee without end."