In the 80s, when I was at Harding University, one of the more consistently rich spiritual experiences I had was in the Harding A Cappella Chorus, then directed and conducted by the late Kenneth Davis, Jr.
Besides Grechaninov, Grieg and Give Me Jesus (all mountaintop memories for me), one of the shared experiences was a “Life of Christ” hymn/song/scripture program we frequently performed for churches on tour. There was a sequence used for many years, with only the reader-reciters of scripture verses changed from year to year. Then an alternate sequence came along, using many different scripture passages and songs. The second program wasn’t quite as popular with the students, but it was just as well conceived. I recall both these programs as generally eagerly anticipated by chorus members, richly meaningful for all, and well received by church audiences. Here is the first of the two programs:
|Tell Me the Story of Jesus, st. 1
Matt 2:1-2, 10-11
O Come, All Ye Faithful
Joy to the World
Tell Me the Story of Jesus, st. 2
Yield Not to Temptation
At Even, When the Sun Was Set
Luke 15:11-15, 17-20
Love for All
God Is Calling the Prodigal
|Tell Me the Story of Jesus, st. 3
When My Love to Christ Grows Weak
I Stand Amazed, st. 4 (“He Took My Sins and My Sorrows'”)
O Sacred head
When I Survey
Christ the Lord Is Ris’n Today
Softly and Tenderly
I don’t know that any of us ever analyzed the content of this (birth, temptation, invitation to “prodigals,” death, resurrection, preparing for second coming). I don’t suppose this program was completely balanced, but it was meaningful, and I’m here to tell you that we worshipped as we sang some of those songs, and as we recalled those events in the life of our Lord.
As I scan the list of scripture-reciting names on this old sheet of paper, I note, with no surprise, that there are only male names printed. That is because tradition dictated that it was inappropriate to use women in that capacity in most/all of the church buildings in which we sang.
I also note with great interest that, of the 25 male names, I know something about most of them still today. I don’t know where Eugene is, but he was headed into med. school. Ed is in Richmond, Ron is in San Antonio, Mike and Glenn and Jim Bob and Tom and Larry and John are in Arkansas. I don’t know about John or another Brian or Dan or Matt or Vance, but I know Tim moved from Nashville to Rochester, and Steve and Kirk are in Missouri, another Glenn is in OK, and Marvin is in Indiana. At least two of the men whose names appear on this list have lost their faith, but most seem committed still. One of these guys has died. About half of the them are FB friends, so I hear bits every now & then but only keep up with a few of them.