A reflection for July comes from Richard Church.
It has been claimed that ‘hymns are the folk songs of the Church militant’. In other words, within our songs and hymns is expressed the struggle of the Church to live out the values of the kingdom of God on earth. An example of this is the song ‘We are marching in the light of God’ which emerged from the struggle in South Africa. Whilst the context in which the song emerged has thankfully changed, the song has been taken up throughout the world as a call for freedom, expressing solidarity with all who are oppressed.
Walking the Way, living the life of Jesus today has an immediate link to this kind of song or hymn. We are blessed by so many fine hymn writers both in the past and into the present. What they achieve in verse and through melody is an engagement with God and the society of which we are a part. The call to be a follower plunges us into circumstances which we would perhaps prefer to ignore. It is then that we need the songs which as Graham Cray puts it, ‘sustains and equips us to receive and release the power of the kingdom’.
It is good that URC Music Network exists to draw together musicians and writers to equip us in this vital area of our life together. As we develop our response to the challenge which Walking the Way poses to us all, the treasures of the past and the songs which have not yet been written, can strengthen and inspire us. Please share with others in the URC Music Network any material that you have found helpful so that can enrich us all during our times of corporate worship.