Bishop Ward invites us to sing songs of praise to God and also to hear the hymns of Charles Wesley at Duke Memorial UMC (Durham) on Sept. 26-27, 2015.
“Lift every voice and sing until earth and heaven ring.”
James Weldon Johnson’s words invite us to sing songs of praise to God. The scriptures, from beginning to end, are full of invitations to praise God in song and we know when we sing hymns of praise to God, our spirits are lifted and we are filled again with confidence, joy, and peace.
Fanny Crosby was a writer of over 8,000 hymns and she wrote a little poem that she used to tease her preacher friends, who proclaimed the Gospel in word. She said, “Life is very short and so I do determine that many will sing a song who’ll never hear a sermon.”
The Great Awakening, the Great Revival in the United States was caused, historians say, in large part, by the hymns of Fanny Crosby and others, as people sang hymns of the faith and felt themselves drawn toward God.
This weekend, we have a wonderful opportunity to celebrate the role of music in the life of the church. At Duke Memorial United Methodist Church in Durham, there will be a concert offering Charles Wesley hymns in Spanish and in English. This concert is a commemoration of the Wesley Heritage Foundation and of our conference partnership in translating the John Wesley works into Spanish and Portuguese. You’re invited to be present.
Wherever you are in the days of this week and even into next weekend, hum a hymn of praise to God or sing it out loud and give thanks to God for the gift of song.