"9/11 | Coming Together" 20th Anniversary Special

Videos

December 27, 2020 - #4763 Music & the Spoken Word

The Music & the Spoken Word broadcast airs live via TV, radio, and internet stream on Sunday at 9:30 a.m. mountain time. For information on other airtimes, visit “Airing Schedules” at musicandthespokenword.org

This encore performance of Music & the Spoken Word has been specially selected for airing while the Choir and Orchestra are practicing social distancing. It contains a new Spoken Word, written and delivered by Lloyd Newell.

Music

Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Brian Mathias
Narrator: Lloyd Newell
With Soloist Dallyn Vail Bayles
and with Bells at Temple Square, LeAnna Willmore conducting

“This Little Light of Mine”
Music: African-American Spiritual
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg
Featuring Bells at Temple Square

“Arise, O God, and Shine”
Music: John Darwell
Lyrics: William Hurn
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“The Ash Grove” organ solo
Music: Welsh melody
Arrangement: John Longhurst

“Vivace con Spirito”
Music: Jason W. Krug
Featuring Bells at Temple Square

“I’ll Begin Again” from Scrooge
Music and Lyrics: Leslie Bricusse
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

“Hold On” from The Secret Garden
Music: Lucy Simon
Lyrics: Marsha Norman
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Let There Be Peace on Earth”
Music and Lyrics: Sy Miller and Jill Jackson
Arrangement: Michael Davis
Featuring Dallyn Vail Bayles
 

The Spoken Word

Great Expectations

With a new year on the horizon, it’s traditional to reflect on the year that has passed. And what a year it has been! A global pandemic, natural calamities, social unrest, political turmoil—so many problems and protests, disasters and disagreements have swirled around us. At the same time, we’ve also had moments we will forever cherish. As we look back on 2020, we see good and bad, ups and downs, things we’d like to forget, and things we hope to remember.

Even so, most of us feel like we’re ready for a fresh start, a new beginning. That’s the beautiful thing about a new year. It’s full of possibilities, full of hope—or, as Charles Dickens might say, full of “great expectations.”

In his novel by that name, Dickens chronicles the lives of characters who endure many injustices. Pip is orphaned, betrayed, jilted, and humbled. Estella likewise endures cruel manipulations, heartache, and disappointment. In the end, after these two characters have grown older and wiser, Estella reflects on their experiences. “Suffering has been stronger than all other teaching,” she says. “… I have been bent and broken, but—I hope—into a better shape.”1

We all face challenges that shape the course of our lives. But that shape and that course are still ours to choose. Will we be hardened or softened by our hardships? Will our difficulties drive us to seek better things in this new year, or will they drag us down, causing us to turn our back on belief and hope? In the wake of sharp contentions, will we work toward reconciliation and peace or wallow in division and anger? When we feel bent and broken under the weight of life’s heavy burdens, will we, like Estella, be bent and broken into a better shape?

To be sure, this past year has been a struggle, a great sorrow for far too many of us. But through it all, we carry on, we hope on, we trust in God and find comfort and strength in Him. That is our “great expectation”—to bear with perspective and courage whatever the future holds, trusting that if we are bent and broken, we will emerge from it “into a better shape.”

  1. Charles Dickens, Great Expectations (1881), 523.