Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pilgrim Lutheran's German Sing-Along

The first-ever German Sing-along at my church (68th and Center) was a great success. Even though we didn't advertise extensively, we had a turnout of perhaps thirty to thirty-five people, all eager to sing traditional German Christmas carols familiar from childhood.

Rather than bothering with reams of paper, I simply put the lyrics on PowerPoint slides, and took advantage of Pilgrim's newly purchased projector. We began with a quick pronunciation tutorial just to refresh our memories, and Pastor Peckman helped navigate the slides. We sang about twenty-five of what I thought were the most familiar carols, and I thought we could have used a few more. Bryant helped with just about everything, even setting up snacks for the informal social time afterward.

It was a superb time of fellowship and most of our guests were able to meet new people, increasing their German-speaking contacts. We do plan to hold a sing-along next year, so we're open to suggestions for improvement, whether on repertoire, timing, or format. Thanks for making this so much fun!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Our Time

In the omniscient providence of God, we were born to this age, and not to another. We were divinely appointed to the peculiar time and place in which we find ourselves. Mordecai had to remind Esther that she was born “for just such a time as this,” and no less were we.

To my contemporaries who mourn a bygone era, I say, This age is what we make it. We are the visionaries, we are the proponents of ideas, we are the actors on the present stage; the burden rests squarely on our shoulders. If the surrounding culture labors under false ideals and attending problems, we must blame no one but ourselves. Those who would go back to a Victorian era dread the work of influencing our own. They forget that previous cultures were shaped by the “tireless minority” spoken of by Samuel Adams.

At times those who put forth those endeavors are frustrated by an apparent lack of results. Think of the long effort to dismantle slavery in the United States. This paradigm shift required much time to take effect, and yet now those who fought that battle of ideals are hailed as heroes.

Therefore our responsibility is clear; we cannot afford to accept the status quo and pretend that all is well. As Christians, we must exert our powers of influence if we wish to make the culture more hospitable toward us and our views. Let us labor to make the case for Christ, for the Church, for Biblical directive, for the majesty of tradition, for reverence.

The Apostle Paul often busied himself in the public square, persuading people to consider the claims of Christ. Surely this is the work of Christ’s Great Commission, in whose fulfillment we find the presence of Christ Himself, “even unto the end of the age.”