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Between Sundays for Week of May 22, 2023

“When in our music God is glorified…” The words of this hymn (ELW 851, words by Fred Pratt Green) lift up music as a means to join our voices to all creation and even the heavenly chorus in giving praise to God. The sound of a congregation raising their collective voice to sing a familiar and beloved hymn is a joy-filled sound! Pastor Amy still fondly remembers the first time she visited Bethlehem and heard the full-throated sound of the congregation’s singing.

As a congregation, Bethlehem loves music. We appreciate hearing the ensembles, small groups, and soloists that offer their gifts to enhance and add meaning to our worship. This appreciation lies at the heart of our celebration of “Music Sunday” and we give thanks for the ways that God is glorified in our music. You can listen to our most recent Music Sunday worship service by viewing it online.

Whenever we offer our gifts to serve this world God loves, God is glorified!  We could substitute “music” for any number of gifts like caring, service, loving, sharing, building, baking, list’ning, teaching, the list could go on and on! All our varied gifts and offerings can be instruments tuned for praise to give thanks and praise and God! And when they are, our Alleluia is raised and God rejoices!

P.S. As always, if you missed worship at Bethlehem on Sunday, you can listen view it through YouTubeFacebook, or Bethlehem’s website, or listen to the gospel reading and message each Monday on The Word podcast (linked below).

The Word Logo

A little something different this episode as Amy reads a hymn text and reflects on its meaning.


Johann Sebastian Bach (1685-1750) was a church musician and prolific composer. He wrote music to enhance worship and communicate the good news of Jesus. Much of his music remained unknown for nearly a century after his death and we have know idea how much of it has been forever lost.

Many of Bach’s composition included the inscriptions J.J. at the beginning and S.D.J. at the end. They are abbreviations for the Latin, Jesu Juva, which means Jesus help me, and Soli Deo Gloria, which means to the glory of God alone. Bach believed that his music was a gift God had given him to use and through it, Bach’s desire was to point people to God’s saving love made know in Jesus.