Category Archives: Congregational Songs

Jesus Cristo, esperan├ža do mundo/Jesus Christ, Hope of the World

This fall, I was commissioned to write an arrangement of the lovely Brazilian milonga, “Jesus Cristo, experan├ža do mundo.” It premiered last night in the second installment of Calvin University’s four-part Lessons and Carols. The whole program was lovely and … Continue reading

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Psalm 6: Lord, My God, Do Not Contend (Carlill)

A few weeks ago, a friend recommended Psalms for the Common Era, a collection of 150 Psalm versifications by Adam Carlill. It is a lovely collection that strikes a fine balance between faithfulness to the Hebrew texts and singability for … Continue reading

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I Will Not Let You Go

What do you do when your pastor decides to preach on Genesis 32:22-31? Sure, the story of Jacob’s late night wrestling match with a stranger (man? angel? God?) is a common Old Testament story, but there simply aren’t a lot … Continue reading

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By Blessed Wounds (T.L. Moody)

Tammy Moody wrote a lovely text about trusting God to be a good father rather than a vengeful or cruel one. She and I have discussed the fact that using the image of God as Father is quite out of … Continue reading

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Ask the Complicated Questions (David Bjorlin)

It seems that Dave and I grew up in similar church contexts, where easy answers were dished out with as much relish as jello salad at a Sunday potluck. Unfortunately, those easy answers overlooked the subtleties of real life, used … Continue reading

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Build a Longer Table (David Bjorlin)

I met Dave Bjorlin at a Hymn Society conference in 2018 in a late-night chat among HS night owls. “Good guy,” I thought. What I didn’t know is that he’s an excellent hymn text author. GIA recently published a collection … Continue reading

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Psalm 134: Bless the Lord!

The biblical Songs of Ascents, and my Pilgrim Psalms song series, conclude with Psalm 134. It is a fitting conclusion, with the people blessing God and God blessing the people. I could have written a simple scripture song that rhymed, … Continue reading

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Psalm 133: How Good and Beautiful

Psalm 133 is the quintessential ode to the unity of God’s people. It is short, beginning with a thesis statement (“How good and pleasant it is when God’s people live together in unity!”) and fleshed out with two supporting images. … Continue reading

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Psalm 132: Dwell in Us

Psalm 132 is a Messianic history Psalm. It tells the story of David vowing not to rest until he had built a house in Jerusalem for the ark of the covenant. God, in turn, honors David’s devotion by promising that … Continue reading

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Psalm 131: Wait for the Lord

Jesus said, “Let the little children come to me.” Surely there is a foreshadowing of Jesus’ words in Psalm 131, which is all about child-like trust. Not only does Psalm 131 portray our faith as childlike trust, but it portrays … Continue reading

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