January 3, 2013

The music of Christmas is over – it’s gone from the radios, from the shopping centers, and after January 6, it will even be gone from our Sunday morning worship. And without the incessant bombardment of Christmas carols, holiday jingles and hymns proclaiming Jesus’ birth, our lives will return to their pre-Thanksgiving ordinariness. I have always been amazed at the power of music at Christmastime to help create the Christmas Spirit that descends every December, and then disappears again in January. There is just something so evocative when the familiar Christmas music transports us each year into the Christmas season.

And Christmas carols aren’t the only songs that have this power. Music in general has the ability to awaken strong feelings within us that remind us of indescribable beauty and emotion. Music has the ability to transport us from the ordinariness of life into the realm of the extraordinary, to bring to light the majesty of the divine in the midst of the mundane. Music has the ability to communicate truths that words alone fail to convey. This is why singing hymns every Sunday is such a significant part of worship.

In recognition of the power of music in shaping our faith, the teenagers are going to embark on a musical quest in 2013 to identify hymns that powerfully speak to people in our congregation. Through one-on-one interviews and group discussions, you will be invited to share with our teens some of your favorite hymns, and why they are important to you. What hymns hold power in your life and continue to shape your faith? One outcome of this project will be to produce a book that provides a snapshot of the faith of Lakeshorians, known through the hymns we love. I encourage you to spend some time thinking about the power of your favorite hymns and how they help you connect to God. In the near future, you will hear more about how to share your reflections with the teens.