Christianity 201

November 10, 2010

Taking the Message to the Streets (and Malls)

I’d seen this video embedded on other peoples’ blogs and didn’t really think about it a whole lot until this picture of the giant Wanamaker pipe organ got me curious enough to listen.   Apparently, it’s the largest pipe organ in the world.

I followed the link to Creative Minority where I learned more:

Just this past weekend, shoppers at the the Macy’s in Philadelphia (the old Wanamaker building) were surprised when over 600 choristers who were there mingling with regular shoppers suddenly burst into Handel’s Hallelujah Chorus. It’s pretty awesome.

The Opera Company of Philadelphia was instrumental in bringing it together to perform one of the Knight Foundation’s “1000 Random Acts of Culture” which they’ll be doing over the next three years… The singers burst into song at exactly noon.

But it was thinking about the words they were proclaiming in a public space — okay, technically a privately owned, yet ‘public’ space’ — that really got to me:


For the Lord God omnipotent reigneth.

The kingdom of this world
Is become the kingdom of our Lord,
And of His Christ, and of His Christ;
And He shall reign for ever and ever.

King of kings, and Lord of lords

Hallelujah! Hallelujah!

That’s actually all there is to it in terms of unique lyrics.  But how powerful!

Musicians can and do try to analyze the piece musically.    But we know different.   The force of the song is in the lyrics, taken from Revelation 11:15

And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever. (KJV)

Other translations — even the NLT and The Message (gasp!) stay with this overall form, but the New Century Version simplifies it for younger ears:

“The power to rule the world now belongs to our Lord and his Christ,and he will rule forever and ever.”

How do we end this consideration? How about with these words:

For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever, Amen.

October 16, 2010

Redeemer Saviour Friend

Another classic worship song suitable for use all year long, but especially for Easter or Communion.   This is the version of this from BCAD, an unusual Hosanna Integrity album from a few years back that can only be described as worship meets evangelism.  There are many versions of this song online. Listen the first time and then replay it and sing along.

I know You had me on Your mind
When You climbed up on that hill
For You saw me with eternal eyes
While I was yet in sin
Redeemer Saviour Friend

Every stripe upon Your battered back
Every thorn that pierced Your brow
Every nail drove deep through guiltless hands
Said that Your love knows no end
Redeemer Saviour Friend

Oh Redeemer redeem my heart again
Saviour come and shelter me from sin
You’re familiar with my weakness
Devoted to the end
Redeemer Saviour Friend

So the grace
You pour upon my life
Will return to You in praise
And I’ll gladly
Lay down all my crowns
For the name by which I’m saved
Redeemer Saviour Friend

by Chris Springer and Darrell Evans Integrity’s © 1999 Hosanna! Music & Integrity’s Praise! Music