A thread that runs through today’s lessons is the call to tell the story, to remember and recount, to do and teach the works and words of God.
“Make Them Hear You,” the powerful song from Ragtime, has become an anthem of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington; we have sung it in front of the Supreme Court Building, at the Lincoln Memorial, at the White House, and in dozens of other public events. It includes these lines:
Go out and tell our story to your daughters and your sons
and tell them in our struggle we were not the only ones.
…Your sword may be a sermon or the power of the pen;
teach everyone to raise their voice…
These lines sound to me like a modern version of Psalm 78. Here is that Psalm in the versification of Isaac Watts:
Let children hear the mighty deeds which God performed of old,
which in our younger years we heard, and which our fathers told.
He bids us make his glories known, his works of power and grace;
and we’ll convey his wonders down through very rising race.
Our lips shall tell them to our young, and they again to theirs,
that generations yet unborn may each them to their heirs;
thus shall they learn in God along their hope securely stands,
and they may not forget his works, but honor his commands.
In a few weeks, we will remember “the night on which Jesus was betrayed,” and the Passover meal that was built around remembering and telling the story of God’s deliverance: “…things that we have heard and known, that our ancestors have told us. We will not hide them from their children; we will tell to the coming generation the glorious deeds of the Lord…”
Make them hear you!
Appointed readings for today: Deuteronomy 4:1-2, 5-9, Psalm 78:1-6, Matthew 5:17-19