Being in my church choir means I get to sing a lot of lovely music, and sometimes some pretty dumb music too. Each one of us has songs we just groan over - some of the lowest on my list are "God of Eve & God of Mary"/"God of Adam, God of Joseph" and the second verse of "Dust and Ashes." There's also just a whole category of overused, done-to-death music from the 60's and 70's. "Gather Us In" is one of them, and Marty Haugen, who wrote it, is absolutely despised in some circles. Personally, "Gather" doesn't bother me much, although I could definitely sing it in my sleep. But this Monday, singing at a funeral at my church, I was struck by the fourth verse:
Not in the dark of buildings confining,
not in some heaven, light years away,
but here in this place, the new light is shining;
now is the Kingdom, now is the day.
Gather us in - and hold us forever,
gather us in - and make us your own.
Gather us in - all peoples together,
fire of love in our flesh and our bone.
Now perhaps my taste for liturgical music has been warped by too many years in the choir, but I got choked up singing this! Maybe just because it was an emotional event, but I think maybe because of the words too. Try reading it without hearing the tune in your head. (I know, it's almost impossible.) I think there are some good ideas here.
Anyway ... um ... no conclusion to this post ... just wanted to share.