A free will theology: 1-19-10
Clicking with Bible stories: 1-21-10

Sacred music's ministry: 1-20-10

Sometimes when the sad news of the world (Haiti, Iraq, Afghanistan, local crime and on and on) gets to be almost too much to bear, a little sacred music can offer some balm.


So the other evening the 50-plus member Chamber Chorale from Millikin University in Decatur, Ill., offered a concert in the sanctuary of my church. It was part of a concert tour the group was doing.

Wow. What a huge and marvelous sound filled the room. And afterward, three of the first sopranos were overnight guests at our house. Here they are in this photo ready to leave in the morning for the bus ride back to Illinois. Wonderful young women.

(From left to right in the picture you see Amanda Saul, Jessica Golden and Liz Guidone.)

The chorale is conducted by Guy Forbes, and the group sang a lovely piece he had written called "Come Back to Me, My Love."

It was quite an international concert in that they sang songs in Latin, Russian, English and Irish. Our church's choir director, Cory Ganschow, once sang in the Millikin choir.

My experience is that sacred music can both ruffle the spirit and soothe the soul. In a time of temporal turmoil, it offers an eternal perspective that can let us catch our breath, steady ourselves and find our way forward.

I hope the chorale members understand the importance of the ministry they offer.

* * *


Now here's an odd story. A Michigan defense contractor that makes combat rifle sights stamps them with references to Bible verses. Is this just a doesn't-matter company preference or does it offer more ammunition to the Taliban that American soldiers in Afghanistan are on a Christian crusade? To prevent the latter, I'd quit stamping verses on the sights if I were the contractor and would insist on that if I were the Defense Department. No reason to give religious fanatics more fuel for their fires.


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