I'm a BIG fan of musicals. I'm a HUGE fan of movies. When you can put both together…well I'm hooked. One of my all-time-favorite scenes in a movie/musical would be the final song in Sister Act 2. I know…I'm a loser, but still, how can you not love that scene! The final scene is the performance of the St. Katherine's school choir who Sister Mary Clarence (Whoopi Goldberg) was whipped into shape to be a stellar high school choir. The scene gives me chills as Lauren Hill's character begins to sing, "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee". The kids break out into a medley of songs lyrically changed up to honor God and it is all fun and awesome!
The lyrics to that wonderful hymn were penned in 1907 in the Berkshire Hills of Massachusetts, where Henry Van Dyke was speaking at Williams College. Van Dyke had graduated from Princeton University, Princeton Theological Seminary, and the University of Berlin and had been invited to speak at several campuses in Europe and America. While in Williamstown, MA he must have been inspired by the grandeur of the mountainous landscape and penned the words to this famous hymn, written to the tune of "Ode to Joy", taken from "Hymn to Joy" in Beethoven's final movement of his epic Ninth Symphony.
The verses of this glorious hymn lift us to heaven in its majestic praise of the God of creation. We can witness creation offering its worship to the Lord as the "hearts unfold like flowers" before the greatness of our God! In His presence sin and sadness will melt away and we will be filled with eternal gladness as we witness the Son defeat the powers of darkness in this world. What a glorious God we serve! In the final stanza our God is described as benevolent and faithful to forgive. John 10 comes into view as we recognize that life lived in Christ brings joy in the good and in the midst of suffering.
We have much to be joyful about here at Second. God is doing a great work among us. This weekend as we welcome a new pastor into our fellowship, let's follow the command of the Psalmist and with all our breathe, praise the Lord for His goodness toward us!
Check out the 9:30 playlist here.
Check out the 11:00 playlist here.
And in case you haven't seen it…here is the scene I was writing about above in Sister Act 2!