I would bet that a great many of you could finish this hymn verse from memory, with only the first two words given to you. Let’s try it. “Joyful, joyful…”
How’d you do?
I would guess you did pretty good and added on easily with “Joyful, Joyful, we adore Thee,” even if you got stuck afterwards. “Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee” is one of the greats, no question. Henry van Dyke’s poem set to the masterful adaptation of Beethoven’s final movement of the Ninth Symphony is grand and stirring and so very beautiful. I have never sung it and not been deeply moved. It is a powerful praise report about our God. The second verse, not as well known as the first, goes like this—
“All Thy works with joy surround Thee
Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays
Stars and angels sing around Thee
center of unbroken praise
Field and forest, vale and mountain
Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea
chanting bird and flowing fountain
call us to rejoice in Thee.”
That fourth line draws me in, naming God as the “center of unbroken praise.” And yet, I’m not so sure I do my part. Maybe you, like me, forget too often to practice praise. Well this Sunday, we’ll do just that. We’ll spend time praising God and saying why. We’ll hear from three of our community members who’ll share their very own praise reports. And then as worship concludes and we enjoy a fabulous fellowship lunch of sandwiches, fruit, pasta salad, and more, we’ll all be invited to share with one another how God is blessing us and is worthy of being praised.
I hope you can come and join the mighty chorus!
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