Our church only meets on the first and third Sundays of the month. Most other Sundays our family has it's own worship service at home.
We pull chairs into the living room, sit in a circle and let “Take Our Moments and Our Days” as well as "Hymnal: A Worship Book" guide us.
Today I wanted to give you some of the lyrics from our hymns and a few links to the tunes on YouTube (not us singing).
Most of them were chosen by Hubby since we were more familiar with these than the hymns which the text had suggested. When they are more familiar we find our children are more than willing to sing along when they know the words and tune. There is nothing more precious to me than a child who sings along. Today we were graced by Miss substituted from the texts as we were familiar with these which enabled the children to sing along.
Music is where God most often ministers to my soul. Meaningful lyrics that challenge me no matter how many times I've sung or read them push me to become more closely connected to my Savior.
So today we started with some old favorites: Holy, Holy, Holy and then To God be the Glory. Otto and Abram joined in on the chorus of the last one. :)
James 4:5-10 was read next.
5 Or do you think Scripture says without reason that he jealously longs for the spirit he has caused to dwell in us? 6 But he gives us more grace. That is why Scripture says:
“God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” 7 Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you. 8 Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. 910 Humble yourselves before the Lord, and he will lift you up. Grieve, mourn and wail. Change your laughter to mourning and your joy to gloom.
We discussed what it meant to be proud and what humbleness looked like. God is good and His timing is perfect as these are issues that our boys have been struggling with lately.
Then we had more singing and praying.
A newer hymn our family has been learning is "We plow the fields and scatter."
This lovely one puts everything into perspective, giving God all the praise and credit.
Here is verse one: We plow the fields and scatter the good seed on the land, but it is fed and watered by God's almighty hand. God sends the snow in winter, the warmth to swell the grain, the breezes and the sunshine and soft refreshing rain. VERSE 2: You only are the Maker of all things near and far. You paint the wayside flower, you light the evening star. The winds and waves obey you, by you the birds are fed; much more to us, your children, you give our daily bread. VERSE 3: We thank you, then Creator for all things bright and good. The seed-time and the harvest, our life, our health our food. Accept the gifts we offer, for all your love imparts and what you most would welcome, our humble, thankful hearts. REFRAIN (sung after every verse): All good gifts around us are sent from heav'n above. We thank you, Lord, we thank you , Lord for all your love.
Next we sang "Praise Him, Praise Him." I love this song. It's bouncy like my personality can be on a very good day. The lyrics are full of redemption and praise. Here are a couple of my favorite lines: "Sound his praises, Jesus who bore our sorrows, love unbounded, wonderful deep and strong" and "Christ is coming, over the world victorious, Pow'r and glory unto the Lord belong." Power, Praise, Promise, Understanding, Hope "Unbounded Love," doesn't that about sum it up?
Next up we read the beatitudes. You can read them here in Matthew 5:1-12.
We then ended in our sending anthem which we actually only sang verse one of. This song is in our Mennonite Hymnal. I tried to find a version of it for you to hear it but since it is also dubbed the "African American National Anthem" I could not find a version that was well sung, WITH lyrics that was not filled with very emotionally stirring images. We are not a family that skips over the hard history but I am not ready to post such really tough images here which might over power yourself. If you would like to search YouTube yourself feel free. I will tell you the best vocal rendition that is true to the WRITTEN score is a video done by the Balm of Gilead. I will let you take it from there knowing that the pictures can be a bit profound.
The song is a harder song to sing w/o a piano and the kids were squirming a bit more than average (at home) so we stopped at the end of one verse. I would one reason it is found in the Mennonite Hymnal is that it is first off a beautiful vocal arrangement but also the words talk about times of overcoming persecution while being true to God. Hmmmm, reminds me of Martyrs' Mirror.
Some day in the future I will write more about the beatitude project that we began today and will be working on for school. If I forget you have permission to pester me. :)
I have a super full week ahead of me with a visiting Father-in-Law, school, house projects, a funeral, a women's bible study, library story time, a review to be posted on Wednesday and my first "Master Gardener" course. EEEEEKKKKKK!!
Praying you all have a Blessed Week. :)