by Kenneth C. Kroohs

Seventh Sunday After Pentecost
Kenneth C. Kroohs
Isaiah 55:1-5, 10-13; Psalm 65:9-14; Romans 8:9-17; Matthew 13:1-9, 18-23
July 11, 1999

When people first begin thinking about ordination, there are a great many things, many activities, that go through their minds. You picture yourself doing various things. Certainly preaching, hospital visits, even Vestry meetings.

During the first few months, or even weeks after ordination, you discover other activities that had never been considered but must be done. A few of those are mentioned in seminary but somehow the intensity of each activity never comes across from the instructors.

For example, picking the hymns for each service. Many priests chicken out and let someone else pick the hymns. In fact, hymn selection is the only part of the worship service where church law specifically allows the priest to seek assistance. It is difficult enough to find hymns that in some way match the scripture lessons for the day, or the day's special event. But in addition, those hymns are supposed to be singable!

The "singable" criterion is made virtually impossible by the fact that one person's "old favorite that we sang every month in my last church" is another person's "unsingable funeral dirge!" And, frankly, our hymnal does not make life any easier in this respect. Many songs in it are unsingable! All of this leads some people to people believe that clergy take scripture too literally when it says "sing a new song".

Scripture uses that phrase a lot. According to one source, the internet, the words "new song" are in scripture at least ten times. Fortunately, scripture is not telling us to buy new hymnals and forget our old favorites. This is one of those places where we miss the importance of the teaching because it seems so simplistic and obvious. Scripture is not talking about music lessons ... scripture is talking about a whole new life.

Actually as I reflected on this, it brought back strong me ...

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