Sunday 11 September 2016

The Story and the Song

I love stories. Telling them. Hearing them. Reading them. Imagining the places and the people, and feeling connected to the world and what happened through the power of the words.

I also love music. The emotions, memories and powerful  sensations it invokes. How a simple melody, or a well placed chord. a catchy beat and an unusual harmony can hook me in and make me smile.

So it's no surprise that I love to find out the stories behind the songs - why they were written, how they came to be, and what the process of writing was. 

Since it's Sunday, and I'm going through a book entitled "Amazing Grace" which features old hymns, I thought I'd look at yesterday's hymn - Majesty by Jack Hayford. Written in 1977, it isn't exactly ancient, but it is an old standard.

Rev. Jack Hayford, the pastor of Church of the Way in Van Nuys, California  was travelling in Great Britain during the 25th anniversary of Queen Elizabeth's coronation, observing all the royal symbols on display, and seeing the castles and country and he began to consider the implications of being born to rule. In the car, he asked his wife, Anna to jot down thoughts, lines and the melody that came. The full story is here, as well as a link to an audio clip. I think about God's majesty whenever I see mountains - they really do declare it so well.

I struggled to find a good rendition of this great Christian classic. Here's my favourite - by Ron Kenoly - the orchestral arrangement is glorious. Take a listen.

And here's another guy who loved telling stories - John Wimber -  on The essence of Worship. He makes it real.

It's around about here that I should add my worthy words and additional exhortations to encourage you to find a place to express the adoration that this story and song have evoked. But I don't think I'm going to. Because I'd rather suggest you consider how the longing in your heart for connection with God, His people and His world will find an outlet today. I'm sure it will, whether it'a a walk, a prayer, a song in the car, a hug for a child or a visit to church. It always does, because it's what we were created to do.

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