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January 16, 2022- 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 live broadcasts of the Choir and Orchestra are briefly paused. It contains a new Spoken Word written and delivered by Lloyd Newell.


Conductors: Mack Wilberg and Ryan Murphy
Organist: Andrew Unsworth
Narrator: Lloyd Newell

“Scatter Sunshine”
Music: Edwin O. Excell
Lyrics: Lanta Wilson Smith
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Hear Him”
Music: Ryan Murphy
Lyrics: Wendy Randall

“Prelude on ‘Prospect of Heaven’” organ solo
Music: Andrew Unsworth

“How Bright Is the Day”1
Music and Lyrics: American folk hymn
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

“My God Is So High”
Music and Lyrics: African-American spiritual
Arrangement: Ryan Murphy

“Praise to the Lord, the Almighty”2
Music: German hymn tune
Lyrics: Joachim Neander; translated by Catherine Winkworth
Arrangement: Mack Wilberg

  1. On the CD Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing.
  2. On the CD America's Choir.

The Spoken Word

A Beloved Community of Sisters and Brothers

We live in what some have called a “consumer society,” a society focused on buying and selling—then buying and selling some more. Such a society thrives on discontent, inadequacy, competition, and comparisons, because that drives us to make more purchases. The late British rabbi and writer Jonathan Sacks observed: “A consumer society … encourages us to spend money we don’t have, on products we don’t need, for a happiness that won’t last. … In a consumer society,” he explained, “we act to be envied rather than admired.”1

Contrast that kind of shallow society with the sense of belonging found in a “beloved community,” a phrase popularized by the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr. The beloved community, he taught, is based on justice, equal opportunity, and love of one’s fellow human beings. It represents “a global vision, in which all people can share in the wealth of the earth. … Racism and all forms of discrimination, bigotry and prejudice will be replaced by an all-inclusive spirit of sisterhood and brotherhood.”2

Of course, that does not describe our present situation. All is not perfect and harmonious, and sometimes Dr. King’s beloved community seems out of reach. But giving up is not the answer. The goal may be distant and the journey may be long, but every step in the right direction gets us closer.

What are those steps? Surely one is to recognize that we are all part of God’s family; we are sisters and brothers journeying together for a season on this beautiful planet. As such, we owe it to one another to be and do a little better. True sisters and brothers set aside animosity, self-centeredness, and smallness. We enlarge our hearts and minds to the people around us, because, despite our differences, we’re family. So we rise above the bitterness and hostility, the intolerance and anger of the day, and dig down deep to find and share God’s love with our brothers and sisters across the street and around the world.

That demands much of us. But anything that’s rewarding is also demanding. So talk to someone who thinks or looks different from you. Be patient and openhearted to someone who otherwise frustrates you. When we treat each other like family—one by one, person by person—we begin to build a beloved community.

  1. Jonathan Sacks, Morality: Restoring the Common Good in Divided Times (2020), 104–5.
  2. The King Center, “The Beloved Community,”