God Pause for Sunday, 11/2/2014

Luther Seminary God Pause

Sunday, 11/2/2014 Hymn: "When the Saints Go Marching In," This Far by Faith 180

Oh, when the saints go marching in, oh, when the saints go marching in, O Lord, I want to be in that number when the saints go marching in.

Oh, when the Lord in glory comes, oh, when the Lord in glory comes, O Lord, I want to be in that number when the Lord in glory comes.

Oh, when the new world is revealed, oh, when the new world is revealed, O Lord, I want to be in that number when the new world is revealed.

Oh, when they gather round the throne, oh, when they gather round the throne, O Lord, I want to be in that number when they gather round the throne.

Oh, when they crown him King of kings, oh, when they crown him King of kings, O Lord, I want to be in that number when they crown him King of kings.

And on that hallelujah day, and on that hallelujah day, O Lord, I want to be in that number on that hallelujah day.>

One of my favorite All Saints Sunday memories is a jazz mass we celebrated on that Sunday afternoon. We invited Dave Remington and his Jazz band from Rockford College to lead us. Pastor Loren and I wondered how the congregation would respond to a jazz service. Our fears were unfounded, however, as there was standing room only.

The service began with the hymn, "When the Saints Go Marching In." Dave and his trombones and other musicians led a parade through the sanctuary, snaking their way down the several aisles, out into the narthex and over the chancel area. A chorus kept repeating the verses. Soon the children began to follow them with a free style dance. Finally, everyone stood up, and many, both young and old, followed the lead of the children and began their own style of dancing. The trombones were caught up in a new energy. It was a wild and holy time. We felt like we were in the New Orleans Hall in the chambers of Heaven. We were off to a wonderful start that sent worshipers home with a new spring in their step and humming the tunes.

Earlier in the day we had tolled the bells to honor our memories of those in our congregation who had died since the previous year's All Saints Sunday. White roses were given to their families as reminders that we had commended them to our Heavenly Father who had given them new white garments for their new home. The climax of our morning services was the communing together with all the saints, both past and present at the Table of our Lord. It had been a solemn time, and even a few tears were shed.

In contrast to the solemnity of the morning services we cel

Lord Jesus, when the band begins to play, I want to be in that number, when the band begins to play. Amen.>

Hub Nelson Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church, Edina, Minn. (Retired) Master of Divinity, 1962

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