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February 07, 2021 - #4769 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

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.


Conductor: Mack Wilberg
Organist: Richard Elliott
Narrator: Lloyd Newell

“How Excellent Thy Name”1 from Saul
Music: George Frideric Handel
Lyrics: 1 Samuel

“Be Thou My Vision”2
Music: Irish melody
Lyrics: Irish hymn; translated by Mary E. Byrne
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Sing Praise to Him” (organ solo)
Music: Bohemian Brethren’s Songbook, 1566
Arrangement: Richard Elliott

Music: Attributed to Giulio Caccini
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“Down to the River to Pray”3
Music and Lyrics: American folk hymn
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“We Love Thy House, O God"
Music: Leroy J. Robertson
Lyrics: William Bullock

“High on the Mountain Top”4
Music: Ebenezer Beesley
Lyrics: Joel H. Johnson
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CD O Come, Little Children.
  2. On the CD Heavensong.
  3. On the CD Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.
  4. On the CDs Called to Serve and Then Sings My Soul and in the CD set The Missionary Collection.

The Spoken Word

Lessons from Joseph

A story from ancient times provides a poignant example of how mercy and justice intersect in our lives and our relationships. A young man named Joseph was hated and mistreated by his brothers. They even contemplated killing him but finally settled on selling him into slavery. For some 20 years, Joseph toiled in Egypt, far from his home and family, with plenty of time to think about what his brothers had done to him.

Then, through a strange and miraculous series of events, Joseph became a ruler in Egypt, second only to Pharaoh. A famine had driven Joseph’s starving brothers to Egypt to ask for food, and Joseph had the authority to grant or deny their request. They didn’t recognize him, and their lives were in his hands. It would have seemed just, perhaps, for Joseph to allow them to starve or maybe even sell them into slavery.

But that isn’t what Joseph did. Instead, after verifying their sincerity and integrity, Joseph revealed himself to his startled brothers and invited the whole family to join him in the abundance in Egypt. His brothers certainly didn’t deserve it, but this act of mercy and grace blessed the family for generations to come.

Justice and mercy often seem to be at odds, and most of us tend to lean toward one or the other. When we’ve been wronged, we like to see justice served. When we’ve done wrong, we hope for mercy. Can the two ever be reconciled? Can justice prevail without sacrificing mercy? Can mercy be extended without robbing justice?

Thankfully, we can count on a God who is both perfectly just and perfectly merciful. He loves His children but also corrects them. He sets high standards, marking a strait and narrow path, but He also provides a way back for all who wander off that path. God’s mercy is just, and His justice is merciful.

Perhaps we could remember that perfect model as we consider how we view justice and extend mercy. Finding the right balance takes time and practice. We’ll make mistakes, of course. But as we do, a loving and fair God will offer each of us a perfect measure of mercy and justice.