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musings from linda 1/13/23

In August 1932, composer Thomas Dorsey (not the band leader) was attending a music convention in Chicago when word reached him that his wife Nettie had died in childbirth. Grief-stricken, he rushed home to see his infant son, only to lose him the following day. He vowed never to sing again. Eventually, through prayer and encouragement from friends, he began to heal and one day sat down at the piano...

From the depths of his soul, the music of grief flowed through his fingertips — almost as a cry to God:

“Precious Lord, take my hand Lead me on, help me stand I am tired, I am weak, I am worn Through the storm, through the night Lead me on to the light Precious Lord, take my hand, lead me home.”

He went on to pen over 3000 songs in his lifetime, writing music in order “ to bring people to Christ let them know that God loves them...” Years later, The Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr. would say that songs “ give the people new courage and a sense of unity. I think they keep alive a faith, a radiant hope for the future in our most trying hours.” Is it any surprise that his FAVORITE HYMN was “Precious Lord?” The last words he spoke on April 4, 1968 were to Ben Branch who was scheduled to lead the music that night... “Ben, play ‘Precious Lord’ in the meeting tonight... play it real pretty...”

Martin Luther King, Jr. Day has been designated as a federal holiday to encourage all Americans to volunteer to improve their communities. The horrific violence of January 6, 2021 and the racial injustice we continue to see every day stand in direct opposition to everything Dr. King stood for and should be a trumpet call to every one of us to work for justice in whatever ways we can to help heal this fractured country of ours.

How do we do this? One act of LOVE at a time... knowing that God is with us, holding our hand and leading us home. Need inspiration ? Come to church on Sunday to hear our choir sing “Precious Lord…” Or click on this link now to hear a heartfelt rendition sung by the Boston Children’s Chorus.

As you listen, use the words as your own prayer:

“Take my hand, Precious Lord —lead me on.”

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