The following paraphrase of Psalm 118 is from my dear friend and mentor, Michael Morgan. This paraphrase of Psalm 118 (and, in fact, every psalm) can be found in his published psalter, Psalter for Christian Worship, Revised Edition. The suggested tune for this Psalm (188.8.131.52.8.8.7) is MIT FREUDEN ZART (#483 in the Blue Presbyterian Hymnal – “Sing Praise to God, Who Reigns Above”). Psalm 118 is the lectionary psalm for Easter Sunday, Year C.
Give thanks unto our gracious God,
Whose love endures forever;
The Lord, our strength and song shall be,
From whom no fault can sever.
Sing mighty songs of victory,
Both now and for eternity,
For God will leave us never.
I shall not die, but I shall live,
And sing God’s grace with elation;
Though I deserve no more than death,
God blesses me with salvation.
The gate that should unyielding be
Is open wide to welcome me,
Give thanks and adoration!
Upon the stones the builders judged
Imperfect, weak and tender,
Now rest the corners of God’s house,
Still unsurpassed in splendor.
This is the day the Lord has made;
God is my sun, and God my shade;
Rejoice, and praise gladly render!
Shared with permission of Michael Morgan.
The following paraphrase of Psalm 126 is from my dear friend and mentor, Michael Morgan. This paraphrase of Psalm 126 (and, in fact, every psalm) can be found in his published psalter, Psalter for Christian Worship, Revised Edition. The suggested tunes for this Psalm (184.108.40.206. D) are IN BARILONE, HOLY MANNA, and BEACH SPRING. Psalm 126 is the lectionary psalm for the fifth sunday in lent, year c.
When the Lord brought home our treasure,
All delights were like a dream;
In defeat, a shout of vict’ry;
In the sand, a flowing stream.
Mouths that once were parched with anguish
Now with shouts of joy are filled;
Laughter now displaces sadness
For the goodness God has willed.
Bring us back to former glory,
Lost through years of exile’s pain;
Generations long forgotten
Seek God’s favor to regain.
Those who plant their seeds with grieving,
Wetting soil with falling tears,
Shall rejoice in time of harvest,
Reaping hope for all their years.
Used with permission from Michael Morgan.
From Michael Morgan
Much of the English-speaking world is still celebrating the 400th anniversary of the King James Bible (1611-2011). The story of the English Bible from John Wycliffe in 1382 through the King James Version is a fascinating and colorful history, and you are invited to join Michael Morgan at Silver Creek Presbyterian Church on Sunday, February 24th at 2:00 P.M. to hear the story in a special way. This event will be free and open to the public.
On exhibit will be original editions of all the English versions of the Reformation era, including a first printing of the King James Bible. Michael is the long-time organist at Central Presbyterian Church in Atlanta and Seminary Musician at Columbia Theological Seminary. He began collecting English Bibles, New Testaments, and books of Psalms as a student at Florida State University around 1970, and has assembled what is probably the most comprehensive private collection in the country (over 4000 volumes, with virtually every translation represented).
In 1999 his own collection of Psalm paraphrases was published by the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), with a revised second edition in 2010. Michael has traveled widely presenting displays and lectures on the English Bible and Psalms, and has played the organ for recitals, worship services, and master classes around the U.S., and in England, France, Spain, Switzerland, and Germany.
From Stephen Fearing
Silver Creek Presbyterian Church is a member of Cherokee Presbytery and is located at 6 Old Rockmart Rd SE, Lindale, GA. All are welcome to join us for worship at 11:00 A.M. to be followed by a church luncheon. I will preach on Psalm 27 and we will use several of Michael Morgan’s paraphrases for hymns. The exhibit will begin at 2:00 P.M and all are invited! A love offering will be taken in appreciation for Mike’s time with us. If you have any questions, you can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org