BETWEEN THE LINES for Sunday, November 3, 2013
I decided to play a setting of an American folk hymn, “Happy Land,” for the offering, since we are using the piano in that space for the service instrument. We’ll see if I can coax that upright to sing its heart out and do this lovely setting by Joseph Martin justice!
The congregation at Ebenezer will be worshipping again this week in the Fellowship Hall while renovations in the sanctuary continue.
I made a video of this piece using a recording from a recital I gave at Westminster Presbyterian Church, in Muncie Indiana in June of 2012. This was a few months after my mother died. My Dad had made a three-hour trip from Goshen to be there for the concert.
This weekend I’ll play this piece and know Dad is now in that happy land too.
There is a happy land, far, far away.
Where saints in glory stand, bright as the day.
This text is helpful for reflection back to the sermon from last week, “Show Me Your Glory,” from Exodus 33 & 34, as well looking ahead to the end of chapter 34, where Moses’face shines from being in the presence of God on the mountain. The journey
through the desert, the giving of the law, the arrival at the Promised Land--these were all historical
events in the life of the nation of Israel. Yet they all point a far greater
journey. When we reach that land far away, we will indeed shine bright as the
day. This is a mystery so marvelous we can only faintly grasp it, and by faith
cling to it.
“Come, I will show you the Bride, the wife of the Lamb.” And he carried me away in the Spirit to a great, high mountain, and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God, having the glory of God, its radiance like a most rare jewel, like a jasper, clear as crystal. from Revelation 21