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This is my story… this is my song…

I love how music stirs up memories… a special moment, a funny encounter, an important comment.  Suddenly from the deep archives of our mind, comes a vivid memory complete with the feelings of that moment.  I had such an experience on Sunday afternoon as I joined the Pine Run Retirement Community for worship.  I preach there about once a quarter, enjoying the fellowship of many who are a part of our faith community with their friends and neighbors.  I bring the sermon; they choose the music.  As you might expect, the hymns are usually the classics from generations past that still express powerfully the faith of the present.

Sunday afternoon, our worship began with Blessed Assurance.
Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!  O what a foretaste of glory divine!  Heir of salvation, purchase of God, born of his Spirit, washed in his blood. This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long; This is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long;
I love that hymn.  I found myself singing with zeal for the sheer celebration of the faith God gave me when I was just a child.  In the midst of singing the chorus, the memory came as clear as if it had just happened.  In my mind, I was standing in the pews at Oreland Presbyterian Church just a half mile from my home.  On my right stood my mother, singing in her rich alto voice those harmonies that make hymns so beautiful.  On my left stood our oldest son, just 13, singing in his still clear boy soprano voice.  I remember suddenly realizing that he was singing with gusto, the way you sing when you believe what the words express.  This is my story… this is my song…  In that moment, I realized that our son was claiming the faith as his, no longer just a borrowed faith from parents who had raised him in the nurture of the church.  This was what we had been praying for since his birth.  What an amazing moment- three generations together- praising the Savior all the day long!

Sunday morning, 25 years after that special memory formed, I stood in the pews of Lenape Valley Church as that same son stood on the chancel leading worship.  He led us in the energetic exchange of question and answer in the song Good God Almighty.
Tell me: Is He good?--  He’s good!
Tell me: Is He God?--  He’s God!
He is-- Good God Almighty!
On my left stood two of my beautiful granddaughters singing those responses as their father led worship.  After the sermon, the Gospel message was echoed by the lyrics of Alive.
My God, strong and mighty …
So I could rise You reached down for me
Now I'm breathing in, I'm breathing out I was in the grave, but God , You called me out.
This time, I was framed by one granddaughter on either side as we joined in the chorus.  It was a new song for them, but still they sang with joy.  eagerness to be in the fellowship of believers , The smiles on their faces, and their are the first indications claim their own faith journey.  Once agains of hearts beginning to three generations together the day long!

Sunday evening, the lawn of our church was filled children and their parents grandparents , gathered for the beginning and end of Vacation Bible School.  The sounds of their voices carried across the street to the Giant parking lot and back into the neighborhood.  There was joy on the lawn that night!  Monday night that joy continued as our children gathered to sing God’s praise in our sanctuary.
Our God is an awesome God
He reigns from heaven above
With wisdom, power, and love
Our God is an awesome God
The beauty of children’s voices singing God’s praise is beyond what my pen can describe. So, I will just leave you to your imagination as again- three generations together- praising the Savior all the day long! They say that the church is always just one generation from extinction.  Each generation given the solemn responsibility to pass on the faith, so that the strains of praise will continue.  It is our God-given responsibility to raise our children and grandchildren in the faith so that one day they will claim their own personal life relationship with the Savior.  This week, as a faith giving community, we serve so that our children and grandchildren will hear His invitation to walk with Him.

Join me in prayer for those on the front lines with our children, that they would offer an effective witness to the Savior.  Join me in prayer for our children, that they would have , soft hearts to receive God’s invitation.  Join me in prayer for their families, that they would be strengthened in their resolve to raise their children in the faith.  And join me in celebrating what God will do this week as three generations gather to praise the Savior all the day long.

With you singing the praises of the Savior!
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