We often do not have a choice about the struggles we go through, but we always have a choice about how to go through them. This Sunday we will celebrate the miraculously heroic souls among us who hold onto their faith, hope and humanity through the worst of circumstances. We will look for inspiration, guidance and strength for our own journeys.
We will find models in scripture—the 121st Psalm, the story of Jacob wrestling with God and Jesus’ parable about the widow seeking justice from a cold-hearted judge—but the most poignant voices will come through the music: “We Shall Not Give Up the Fight” and “Tumelo yaka (My Faith, I Will Not Lose It)” from the struggles of Southern Africa; “Precious Lord, Take My Hand,” “Lift Every Voice and Sing” and “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” from the African-American tradition; and three beautiful and moving pieces from Europe that Annemieke McLane will play by J.S. Bach, F. Chopin and F. Schubert. We will also sing “Lead On, Eternal Sovereign,” a hymn written in the 1880s by an American Congregational minister for his colleagues as they graduated from seminary, knowing the struggles they would face and the faith they would need to keep.
You can hear the Sweet Honey in the Rock recording of “Keep Your Eyes on the Prize” below: