The Lord your God is in your midst,
a mighty one who will save;
he will rejoice over you with gladness;
he will quiet you by his love;
he will exult over you with loud singing.
~ Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV)
The Hebrew scriptures tell us that God sings! This astounding verse from Zephaniah is probably my favorite passage in the Bible. It inspired Susan Boersma to write a poem called "Anthems of Love."
Composer Dan Forrest set her words to music, and the Glen Ellen-Wheaton Chorale will perform this uplifting piece with voices, string ensemble, piano, and an excellent handbell ensemble from Gary United Methodist Church.
Great music has the power to give us a transcendent experience, a fleeting impression of a larger reality. Sometimes we search for words to express our joy and wonder when we have such moments.
One choir member said that when she sings "Anthems of Love," even though all is not right with the world, she can experience true goodness and joy while we make music together.
Another singer described how deeply happy she feels when she sees joy on the faces of those listening. One person said he feels close to God when he hears this song.
The act of performing "Anthems of Love" unfolds its own truth. As we sing, we fulfill the message of the song, sharing joy with one another and receiving joy at the same time. For those who believe in God, this mirrors the pleasure that we give to and receive from God–"The Father Himself singing over His children, taking delight in the anthems we raise."i
GEWC's former director, Greg Wheatley, had programmed Forrest's joyful piece just as the pandemic hit. The Chorale has not been able to perform it until now. Watch our website for details of our spring concert on May 6 and 7. We look forward to sharing "Anthems of Love" and many other inspiring songs!
Music Director, Glen Ellyn-Wheaton Chorale
i "Anthems of Love," poem by Susan Boersma, copyright 2016, Beckenhorst Press.