Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs

Here are three links related to worship music that are definitely worth checking out. Ekklesia Hymns Matt Foreman, pastor of Faith Church in Media, PA, launched a new blog this month called Ekklesia Hymns where he provides "updated hymns and resources for corporate worship." Check out Praise the Savior, and Jesus, Sinners Does Receive. He admits the sound quality of his recordings is not great, but I really enjoy these hymns and look forward to hearing more from Matt.

Somber Joy? Everyone I know loves Page CXVI's Hymns albums, but some people have been thrown by their rendition of "Joy." Why does it sound somewhat sad? I had an idea when their version ended with "It is Well with My Soul," but here's an official explanation from their blog,

The first time I played Joy was the night my father passed away.  He had a short and painful battle with cancer.  My dad was not perfect but he did the best he could with what he had.  A year before he died he was diagnosed with dementia.  The day he told me he had cancer he said it was a blessing.  To him, cancer was a better way to end his story than a mind with no memory of his family or his life.  So as I sat at the piano, the only place that felt safe that night to me, the weight of loss hit my chest.  I remembered my eyes were blurred with tears and I literally began to play the now familiar progression of Joy.  I kept cycling through the progression and then, as if it had already been written, I began to sing a different melody to a song I sang in VBS as a child, “I’ve got the joy, joy, joy, joy down in my heart…” The truth is that I was terribly and profoundly sad.  The reality of grief had not even entirely hit me yet.  But at the same moment I had a deep sense of peace.  He was no longer in pain.  He was no longer sick.  He was free from all his ailments and restored. Although I still miss him, I know that God has weaved redemption through death into my father’s story.  That brings me great joy.  It was not until grief became a part of my story that I realized that joy is not simply an expression, but an attitude and acknowledgment of the deep peace of knowing a Savior.

Be sure to read the whole thing, here.

Christ Hymn Check out this video where Daniel Montgomery of Sojourn Community Church introduces their series through the book of Colossians. Included is Sojourn's version of The Christ Hymn. You can order the album, These Things I Remember, which includes this song, here.