*God’s Voice. Our Words: Singing the Songs Faith – August 30/Sepember 2, 2018

Sep 03, 2018

“I am not ashamed to confess publicly that next to theology there is no art which is the equal of music…”    Martin Luther, in a letter (1530) to Catholic composer, Ludwig Senfl

Hymns are often the first way we learn to give voice to our faith as children and even those who are not great singers have favorite hymns that they know by heart.  You are invited to reflect on this stanza in the week ahead.  Use it for prayer, meditation, or in daily devotion.  Our prayer and hope is that these hymn stanzas will lift and deepen your faith and encourage your living of that faith in daily works of love and acts of mercy.

Earth and All Stars!   ELW 731, Stanza 4


Classrooms and labs!  Loud boiling test tubes!

Sing to the Lord a new song!

Athlete and band!  Loud cheering people!

Sing to the Lord a new song!

God has done marvelous things.

I too sing praises with a new song!

Herbert Brokering’s text, “Earth and All Stars,” calls the universe to unite and “Sing to the Lord a new song.”  In addition to addressing the natural universe that Psalm 148 catalogs (“mountains and hills,” “beasts and cattle,” “birds of the air,” etc.), “earth and All Stars” also calls on music, industry, construction, education, sports, and philosophy, the entire human enterprise, to join the song. each image is bound together by the recurring phrase found in each stanza, “Sing to the Lord a new song!  He has done marvelous things.  I too will praise him with a new song!”

Brokering, a Lutheran minister born in 1926, composed this text in 1964 on the occasion of the 90th anniversary of St. Olaf College.  With phrases like “Classroom and labs!” and “Athlete and band!” it is easy to see the academic world references in stanzas four and five.  As children and teachers are returning to school, it is particularly appropriate to focus on this text.


Acknowledgements:  Weekly hymn selections have been adapted from Singing the Songs of Faith: 52 Great Hymn Stanzas created in 2011 by Isobel Davies, Thatcher Lyman, Paul E. Shoop, and Jeremy Shoop.  The selection reflects their views and priorities and is a teaching tool in their settings.  The original resource is available in electronic form at  http://immanuelwebster.org/lutheran/wp-content/uploads/2010/09/52-Great-Hymns_web.pdf