Dear Brothers and Sisters in Christ,
Last night as I worked in my study, I was listening to the wind picking up, making the siding shudder and the windows rattle, and was reminded of autumns and winters growing up along the shores of Lake Erie. This morning I awoke to bright sunshine, near freezing temperatures, and frost on the roof! I know that many are not too fond of cooler and colder weather, but I am hoping for lots of sunny days in the 40s and 50s this Fall, and that maybe we’ll even get snowed in once or twice this winter! Let’s rejoice in the beauty of the creative plan of the Triune God in the cycle of the seasons, the One whom “fire and hail, snow and clouds, stormy winds” each offer their praise in fulfilling His Word (cf. Psalm 149:7-8).
Last week in our Malachi series we talked about the sin of believers purposefully marrying unbelievers (Malachi 2:10-12), in violation of both Old Testament and New Testament commands. This Sunday in Malachi 2:13-16 we’ll see the interconnection between the covenant treachery of mixed marriages and its evil twin the treachery of unlawful divorce. Regard for the Lord and His covenant was so low that Israelite men were divorcing their godly covenant wives without any biblical justification, in order to marry outside of the covenant per 2:10-12. While the Lord has very strong language against both of these serious sins, nevertheless neither constitute the “unpardonable sin.” Praise the Lord that Scripture gives words of hope regarding those who have found themselves in either situation, hope in terms of the work of the Spirit and the Person and Work of our Savior Jesus.
Here are a few things to be aware of in our corporate life as a congregation.
1. Feet and Eat last week was a smashing success; thanks to all who came and to all who had a hand in organizing things, procuring accommodations, and providing for the entry fees. I really appreciated the Spirit’s presence in our fellowship.
2. Over the past few year we have participated in providing Christmas food boxes and Angel Tree gifts for our community through MAMA’s Cupboard. Please keep this on your radar and look for details on how you can participate in the near future.
3. From the Deacons: We are not planning an official workday this fall but expect to have one in the spring. However, we are looking for anyone that would like to volunteer to paint the wood frame of the new sign out front. The church will provide the paint. Please contact Deacon Mick Worley if you are interested in serving this way.
October 13 – Lord’s Day Worship, 10:15am
October 13 – Young Adults Fellowship, 6pm, Worley’s
October 18-19 – Meeting of Presbytery of Ohio, Grove City, PA
October 20 – Lord’s Day Worship, 10:15am
October 20 – Service at Sheridan Health Care. 803 S. Hamiltion, Sheridan, 230pm
Meditations from Pastor Tim
Last week we sang hymn #317, “Wake, Awake, for Night is Flying.” Admittedly, it is a bit challenging to sing, although the tune is undeniably lovely. The hymn tune is adapted from the opening chorale of JS Bach’s Wachet Auf! Or “Sleepers Awake!” – and not only is it a marvelous melody, the lyrics reinforce a major encouragement in this week’s sermon, namely that Jesus is our Bridegroom who will never leave us or forsake us for another. Once betrothed to Jesus, His Church rests securely in His love forever. He will never leave us, forsake us, abandon us, divorce us. THEREFORE, we’re singing it again this week!
In order to help introduce you to this hymn and be better prepared to sing it with gusto (or at least without creaking like an old rusty door!), here are a few links to help familiarize you with the tune.
1. By clicking on the the little icon of the speaker below, you should be able to connect to the version of the tune for #317 that we use in our Trinity Hymnal.
Wachet Auf Philipp Nicolai. Harmony by Johann S. Bach, 1731 (🔊
If that doesn’t work, this should: http://www.hymntime.com/tch/htm/w/a/k/wakeawak.htm
2. The next two links are for over-achievers and those desiring some serious extra-credit. This is a youtube link to opening chorales of many of J.S. Bach’s most beloved cantatas. Bach’s cantata Wachet Auf, Ruft Uns Die Stimmer translates roughly in English to “Awake, the Voice is calling us!” It is a reference to Matthew 25 (The Parable of the Ten Virgins). Wachet Auf is catalogued in the official list of Bach compositions as “BMV 140” and it can be found at 2:17:12 of the video below. You will notice that the hymn tune we use in hymn #317 is based on the major melody in BMV 140. You will hear the connection immediately.
3. Finally, remember that Bach’s Wachet Auf is sung in German. So….here is a link which puts the entire lyrics of this work into a side-by-side translation format. This way you can listen to the chorale on the youtube link above, and follow the German lyrics and with a quick glance to the right, see the English translation. This will help you to maiximize your listening enjoyment!
Hint: When you go to the link, notice that the entries listed as 1, 3, and 7, with text in all bold, correspond to the lyrics we will sing in #317 in the Trinity Hymnal. The translations to the English are slightly different than what you will find in our hymnal, but you will easily see that the hymnal and the link’s translation are translating the same German words.
I hope you enjoy this, and that it helps you prepare your heart to worship our glorious Triune God!
See you Sunday!