Thursday, March 29, 2007

It Is Marvelous!

My congregation is celebrating its 75th anniversary this coming Sunday. Last year, before I came on board, they selected Psalm 118:23 as the anniversary theme. It reads, "This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes."

Some time ago, I set about writing a hymn for the anniversary. I knew I needed to incorporate Psalm 118:23, but with the anniversary celebration on Palm Sunday, I also wanted to make sure to reference that as well. I wanted the hymn to be celebratory, but not in a "yay, us!" kind of way...rather, giving glory to God for what God has done. And not just specifically for this congregation, but for all of God's people around the world and throughout time. I guess what I was hoping to do was write something that could be easily recognized as celebrating both the congregation's 75th anniversary and Palm Sunday, but still be "generic" enough to be usable at other times of the year and in other places. I also wanted something that would sound good when accompanied by organ, piano, or praise band. Don't know how well I succeeded in any or all of that, but I'm pretty happy with it.

So as I scanned the rest of Psalm 118, I found some really great words and imagery that I incorporated into the hymn (the psalms were written to be sung anyway, right?):

  • Psalm 118:1--"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his steadfast love endures forever!"
  • Psalm 118:22--"The stone that the builders rejected has become the chief cornerstone."
  • Psalm 118:23--"This is the Lord's doing; it is marvelous in our eyes."
  • Psalm 118:26--"Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord."

There's some other Biblical references:

  • Matthew 21:9--"The crowds that went ahead of him and that followed were shouting, 'Hosanna to the Son of David! Blessed is the one who comes in the name of the Lord! Hosanna in the highest heaven!'"
  • John 1:29--"The next day he saw Jesus coming toward him and declared, 'Here is the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world!'"
  • John 15:5--"I am the vine, you are the branches. Those who abide in me and I in them bear much fruit, because apart from me you can do nothing."
  • Matthew 5:14--"You are the light of the world. A city built on a hill cannot be hid."
  • Luke 19:40--"He answered, 'I tell you, if these were silent, the stones would shout out.'"
  • Isaiah 55:12--"For you shall go out in joy, and be led back in peace; the mountains and the hills before you shall burst into song, and all of the trees of the field shall clap their hands."
  • Isaiah 64:8--"Yet, O Lord, you are our Father; we are the clay, and you are our potter; we are all the work of your hand."
  • Ephesians 2:8--"For by grace you have been saved through faith, and this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God..."
Attached below is a "lead sheet" with notes, lyrics, and chords. Please feel free to copy, reprint, and use it yourself. I have a piano accompaniment part that I've written as well, though it's pretty basic. No royalties or anything--I'm not out to make money on the deal--but an email to lutheranhusker@yahoo.com letting me know you're using it would be cool, just for my own curiosity's sake. If you click on the music, it should come up nice and big for you. And if you're interested in the piano part, just email as well and I'd be happy to send it along.

Blessings to you as we approach the day of resurrection!

LH

(Note: due to requests, I've now posted an audio "demo" of the hymn here.)


3 comments:

Anonymous said...

How about a video of you playing (and singing) the hymn!!!!!!

That would be MARVELOUS!!!

Aunt Jan said...

I agree -if I hear it once I would be able to play it on our piano and would sing the hymn too! Thanks for sharing!Always proud of you and the wonderful way you are using your gifts from God!
Love and God bless,
Aunt Jan

Paul said...

Agreed. If I heard the tune, it would be much easier for me to implement. Would that I were more musically competent! I love to write hymns, but my musical inabilities limit me to existing tunes I already know.

Perhaps an audio file?

I wrote a hymn for Easter at the church I pastored a few years ago. They are quite kind to still sing it every Easter, even though I am no longer there.

I forwarded your hymn on to the worship leader for consideration at my current church. Well done!