Three Part Harmony

A few weeks ago I was in Barnes and Noble and heard some music I liked on the speakers.  It was a female trio that reminded me of the Andrews Sisters.  I don’t remember much about the Andrews Sisters.  Their heyday was in the 1940s.  But I do remember the McGuire Sisters.  They did the same style of music but they came after, the 1950s and into the sixties.  Anyway these groups specialized in close three part harmony.  The signature song for the Andrews Sisters would be Boogie Woogie Bugle Boy.  For the McGuire Sisters it might be Sincerely.

I asked the lady in the music department about this group playing on the speakers.  It was the Puppini Sisters.  The album playing was due to come out the following week.  It has things like Moon River and Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend on it.  I loved it.  I sent a link to my wife and she told me to buy it.  I bought it the next week along with their Christmas album.  Their Christmas album has the usual stuff like White Christmas and Let It Snow but it ends with O Holy Night.

Here’s the thing about O Holy Night.  We know the first verse.

O holy night! The stars are brightly shining,
It is the night of our dear Saviour’s birth.
Long lay the world in sin and error pining,
Til He appear’d and the soul felt its worth.
A thrill of hope the weary world rejoices,
For yonder breaks a new and glorious morn.
Fall on your knees! O hear the angels’ voices!
O night divine, O night when Christ was born;
O night divine, O night, O night Divine.

Inspiring words.  But it was the last verse that got my attention.

Truly He taught us to love one another;
His law is love and His gospel is peace.
Chains shall He break for the slave is our brother;
And in His name all oppression shall cease.
Sweet hymns of joy in grateful chorus raise we,
Let all within us praise His holy name.
Christ is the Lord! O praise His Name forever,
His power and glory evermore proclaim.
His power and glory evermore proclaim.

‘The slave is our brother.’  That is a radical statement.

Jesus was a radical.  He was a revolutionary.  He still is.  And by inference we are too.

He didn’t (and we don’t) plant bombs.  We don’t take to the streets to demand our way.  We don’t grasp for power.

We don’t thirst for the endorsement and approval of the famous or rich or powerful.   Instead we identify with the poor, the helpless, the weak and powerless.  And we seek to serve them.

We don’t seek to be served.  We serve.

This is terrifying in it’s implications.  I can’t say I am following the example of Christ in this regard.  Instead I give some money and hope others use it to reach the low and poor and helpless.

We build big buildings and we establish ministries and programs for different age groups but isn’t all that really serving… us?

I know we are each equipped to serve in unique ways and maybe you can say blogging is one of them.  Maybe not all of us are called to minister in concrete ways to the poor and disenfranchised.  But still that line can’t help but get me thinking.

‘The slave is our brother.’

The slave is my brother.



About Angus Lewis

My wife and I lived our whole lives in Arkansas until ten years ago. We moved to the Kansas City area in 2011 (a job change). That was the reason for the 'From a Far Country' title. Our children and grandchildren were in Arkansas. Six months ago we sold our house and bought one in Sherwood, Arkansas and my wife moved back down here. Two weeks ago I retired and moved back too. (I'm probably going to try to find something part time to keep me out of trouble.) So maybe the 'From a Far Country' title is not so much of a fit anymore. But I think I'll stick with it. I'm still not home. Not yet. The Bible says we are all strangers and pilgrims here. Our real home is with God and some day we'll be there. We'll be home.
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One Response to Three Part Harmony

  1. Wow! This was amazingly thought provoking. Sorry it took so long for me to read and comment.

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