Esther, Ephesians and Worship from St Peters with David Meredith and Craig Anderson

Last Sunday I had the privilege of preaching on the North Coast of Northern Ireland – the preachers in St Peters were David Meredith and Craig Anderson.

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David is one of the best preachers of Old Testament narrative I have heard – he preached a great sermon on Esther…

Songs – Before the Throne;   Ps 139 (New Scottish); You are the Only One;  Psalm 85; The Power of the Cross

Readings:  Philippians 3:15-21 and Psalm 85

Sermon: Esther 2:8 – 18 ‘What’s a good girl like you doing in a place like this?’

you can listen to the whole service here –

In the evening our minister in training – Craig Anderson- continued the series on Ephesians

Songs – Come Let us Worship our Redeemer; Hear the Call of the Kingdom; Ps 133; O Church Arise

Reading: 2 Kings 5

Sermon: Ephesians 4:1-16 – Body Building

The first song in the evening is not so well known…it is a beautiful call to worship

“Come let us worship our Redeemer,\

Let us bow down before his throne;

Come let us kneel before our Maker;

Holy is His Name;

Come into His Presence with thanksgiving;

Make a joyful noise.

For the Lord is a great God,

King of all the earth. “

 

10 thoughts on “Esther, Ephesians and Worship from St Peters with David Meredith and Craig Anderson

  1. It’s not that there’s so much wrong with your new ‘call to worship’ song, but we already had better-written hymns and paraphrases, with better tunes, covering the same ground. They’ve had to be ditched to make room, and along with them the felt link they gave with believers from centuries past.

    Just for one instance – that great old service-opener, the Scottish paraphrase “Come let us to the Lord our God”, as sung by many generations.
    To ‘Kilmarnock’:

    and to ‘Kedron’:

    It’s not as if those words and tunes had been improved on, so as to justify abandoning them. They haven’t even been equalled – not even close.

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  2. hah – in my experience that translates as We haven’t abandoned them, we just don’t sing them. At least certainly not in living memory….there are after all only so many items a congregation CAN sing.

    But it means shutting off a huge well of spiritual refreshment.
    Not to mention that he who weds the Christian music of the present age will be left in a few decades’ time with a repertoire of dated tat.

    Thanks for taking the trouble to reply 🙂

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    1. Jennifer,
      don’t you think that you’re being a little unkind to those who heeded your warning about ‘dated tat’ when the same thought occured to them years ago and who did something about it?
      That includes those who have managed to achieve a remarkably high standard of musical composition or hymn writing from the beginning and also those who have tried and failed.
      Every age of hymn writing has produced its mountains of dross and the reason we only seem to have great hymns from the 18th Century is that by and large, we left the dross out of the later books.
      There was a time when having twelve tunes was considered as much as people could possibly manage. I’m sorry that your experience doesn’t seem to have had any blinks of sunshine in it, musically speaking, but history surely suggests that there are hymns and tunes being written right now that will stand the test of time.
      Your warning must be linked with encouragement if it is to do any good. IMHO.
      Yours,
      John/.

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      1. I’m sorry John, I’m not quite following those first two paragraphs.
        Who is it that I’m unkind to, that heeded the warning? David also said I was “judging others I don’t know”, and yet I still don’t know how, or who.

        When you say there’s dross in every age, that’s my point really.
        What we now have from centuries back has stood the test of time; it’s the non-dross.
        That’s the reason it shouldn’t be forgotten and replaced by the modern corpus – mountains of which we can be statistically certain WILL turn out to have been dross.

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  3. Jennifer,
    you said yourself that you were writing about your own experience of people innovating and taking the opportunity to stop singing ‘better-written hymns and paraphrases’.
    How might you — as David said — be judging others you don’t know? Well, for example, you are making a comment on the blog of a minister in a denomination which — until a couple of years ago — only sang Psalms. Observing it from the outside, exclusive psalmnody seemed to be a throughly justified defensive measure in its day but that David and others were right to seize the opportunity to change. Far from resulting in the Psalms now not being sung, it is my expectation that Psalm-singing habits will commend themselves even to darkest England. I did talk about years ago, didn’t I? Another example of seizing the day was the publication of Grace Hymns back in the ’70s as part of a denomination-saving renewal movement.
    By what you’ve said, you are probably not aware of other refining-the-silver examples but they are there. You mentioned my second paragraph and so I ought to give an example of great classic hymnwriting success — how about Timothy Dudley Smith? — and one of failure.
    I wrote this some time last year as a paraphrase of Col. 1-4.

    Now with Jesus resurrected,
    you can reach the throne of God.
    Therefore seek out heavenly treasure,
    mind set in the heavenly mode.
    Life, invested in the Saviour,
    dies to all advancement here
    and – bound up in his returning –
    then in glory shall appear.

    It’s an 87 87 D metre verse (for which there are 48 tunes in Praise!) but it’s a single verse so I’ll probably never hear a congregation sing it. Nevertheless, the most discouraging voices are not those who look at it and say that it would probably have been very useful a generation or so ago. Most discouragement comes from those who say without looking that it’s all been done better already and that we shouldn’t even try.

    Not trying to discourage you but tarring every innovation with the same brush seems to me to be counter-productive.

    Yours,
    John/.

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