Thursday, August 16, 2012

Joyful, ever Joyful, we adore Thee!

 This great hymn of the church was adapted from Beethoven's 9th symphony, the last movement more commonly known as 'Ode to Joy'. Last night the insurance man and JoAnn joined in a mighty throng for our local Sunriver Music Festival, to perform Beethoven's 9th, with the Mastersingers and world renowned guest vocalists joining in on the last movement. Oh, what a thrill that sent chills down my back, to hear this mighty work performed in the original language (German). What glories, and what gifts God has given to man to sing, to play, to conduct, to compose.

 What praise to our heavenly Father went through my soul at this exquisite piece of music and praise. However....

if you don't know this already, Beethoven originally wrote his 9th symphony and set it to a poem written by German poet Schiller. It was a huge tribute to joy in our human experience along with brotherly love, with a bit about Greek Gods thrown into the humanism. Nothing of real 'God' truth or praise in the original poem. It was this man, Henry van Dyke, who adapted a new text to the glorious music, which became our hymn "Joyful, Joyful." What thanks the church owes him, for attributing joy to the rightful giver, for us in human life and in the divine. I felt exactly as it says in the last stanza:"Mortals, join the mighty chorus which the morning stars began." Last night I joined in!


I believe the text fits beautifully with what God inspired in the music created. I went back this morning to read over the words and here they are for your encouragement this morning:

"Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays.
Star and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Chanting bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blest,
Well-spring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest.
Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are Thine.
Teach us how to love each other; lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the mighty chorus, which the morning stars began.
Love divine is reigning o'er us, leading us with mercy's hand.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife.
Joyful music leads us sonward, in the triumph song of life!"

Have a joy filled day!

2 comments:

Kathy Poncy said...

Amen, Amen. How I love old hymns and the theology found within. You keep my spirit buoyant.

Forever Grateful,
Kathy

Kathy Poncy said...

It would be an honor to visit with Samuel while he is here. Since I can't get out, would you like to bring lunch over and we could sit out on my porch ? I will get you some money for the food and I can make lemonade and iced tea. Or you can bring whatever snack he might like. Ugh, if only i could drive. If it works out, let's plan it. Thank you Jennie.

Kathy