January 28, 2024 - Episode #4924


Conductor: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Guest Conductor: Stephen Layton
Organist: Brian Mathias

“O Clap Your Hands ”
Music: John Rutter
Lyrics: Scripture

“He, Watching Over Israel,” from Elijah
Music: Felix Mendelssohn

“Sing Praise to Him” (organ solo)
Music: Richard Elliott

“Antiphon” from Five Mystical Songs
Music: Ralph Vaughan Williams
Lyrics: George Herbert

“Peace Be Mine”
Music: Mack Wilberg
Lyrics: David Warner

“Alabare (I Will Praise)”
Music: Jose Pagan and Manuel Jose Alonso
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“O God Beyond All Praising”
Music: Gustav Holst
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

Lyrics: Marvin K. Gardner
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

Spoken Word

A Promise of Peace and Joy

January 28, 2024

By: Lloyd D. Newell

As conflicts rage around the world, we may feel unsafe, helpless, even hopeless at times. But God doesn’t want His children to feel that way. He knows all about the world’s problems; yet He also knows how to give, as the scripture says, “beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness” (Isaiah 61:3). Jesus said, “I am come a light into the world, that whosoever believeth on me should not abide in darkness” (John 12:46). Because of that belief, that trust, we can find beauty even on ugly days, light even on dark days, and peace and joy even amid turmoil and sorrow.

Does that mean we just close our eyes to the suffering in the world, pretending that all is well? No. It simply means that we seek out, hold up, and promote the good, the true, and the beautiful. Real peace and joy come from the quiet assurance of a better world to come. And what will bring that better world? The patient, tireless efforts of people who, with faith in the Lord and trust in His promises, are striving to do what’s right, here and now, even when it’s not easy. Peace and joy can dwell in our souls, even when the peaceful, joyful world we envision seems far away. We get a foretaste when we allow God into our lives, when we extend to others the love and respect of our common humanity.

If you asked someone what it’s like to experience peace and joy amid turmoil and sorrow, they may have trouble explaining it. The feeling is real and deep and powerful, but it’s also indescribable, unspeakable, too great to even express in words. You simply have to experience it to understand it. It comes in quiet moments, sometimes unexpectedly. As the Apostle Paul taught, “The peace of God … passeth all understanding” (Philippians 4:7).

But we do understand this: the peace of God begins when we accept the Lord’s invitation to “have peace one with another” (Mark 9:50). Peace must first come from within; then it can flow from us to the home, to the community, and to the world.