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Songs of Scripture - Faculty Sermons - Fall 2016
On Thursday mornings at Wycliffe it is customary for the faculty to preach in a series that goes through the term. Sometimes we preach on a given book of Scripture, like Jeremiah; sometimes it is on some key aspect of the Christian life, like vocation. This term, we will be preaching on the biblical “canticles”, that is, on those parts of Scripture we know to be songs: the Song of Moses at the Red Sea in Exodus 15, the so-called “Magnificat” or Song of Mary from Luke, and so on.
Scripture is full of such songs, many of which are regular parts of worship services. Thus, Scripture not only describes the Israelite’s and early Christian church singing, on various instruments, it also contains portions which are song themselves. O Come, let us sing unto the Lord; let us heartily rejoice in the strength of our salvation! This opening verse of Psalm 95, is how we usually begin our Morning Prayer service every day – in Wycliffe Chapel.
Why do we do it? The Rev. Dr. Ephraim Radner points out in the opening sermon in the series that our singing—and that of all creation-- is a response to God. Scripture describes God as singing. “The LORD thy God in the midst of thee [is] mighty; he will save, he will rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love, he will joy over thee with singing” (Zeph.3;17). God sings first and in response creation sings. In this shared song is the story of salvation.