A worship planner who “swings for the fences” each week is likely to strike out more often than hit a home run. It’s a constant temptation. On the other hand, when you’re surrounded by really fine musicians, you’re obligated to use their gifts as fully as possible. This Sunday the balance was just right. The choir, string quartet and solo all had healthy challenges, but most importantly they helped the congregation sing enthusiastically.

We’ve been singing “One Generation” a lot lately–we’re right at that sweet spot where everyone knows it but no one (that I’ve heard from) is getting sick of it (yet). This snazzified arrangement bumped the energy up a notch. (Yes, that’s a high E the congregation is belting out at 8:37am!)

The choir is singing movements of Vivaldi’s Gloria throughout the year. This week we sang “Dominus Deus, Agnus Dei” (“Lord God, Lamb of God…that takes away the sins of the world have mercy upon us”) during the confession. Stepping from her typical role as violinist, Erin De Young sang the vocal solo (beautifully, I might add). Andrew Plaisier made his COS debut on cello. Hopefully he’ll come back often.

The lectionary called for Psalm 24. The combination of Arlo Duba’s text and this popular Jewish tune is a keeper.

The final song of communion is a new one co-written by Isaac Watts and me. Jack is preaching through Hebrews and pointed out one day that there are few songs that use the image of Jesus as high priest. Shepherd, Bread of Life, yes, but not high priest. Even though I knew he was baiting me, I took the hook and went off to find some good high priest songs. I fell in love with this text by Isaac Watts and wrote a new tune for it. Listen to the way the volume of the singing increases on each verse–that is music to a composer’s ears!