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musings from linda 10/13/23

Good-byes are too often just… the PITS!! Summer draws to a close — we don’t want vacation to end…

A favorite restaurant shuts its doors forever — farewell to all their fabulous food…

Our family visits from far away — we don’t want them to leave …

Sue Timony-Hall decides to move on — we don’t want to say GOOD-BYE!!! While one of the choir members suggested we might reprise THE SOUND OF MUSIC this Sunday and sing to her “So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, adieu!” — — because of its real meaning, “good-bye” really IS what we need to be saying to our dear friend Sue.

Why? The first known recorded instance of using the word was in 1573 when English writer and scholar Gabriel Harvey wrote in a letter:

“To require your gallonde (gallon) of “Godbwyes,” I give you a pottle of howdyes.”

"Godbwye” is a contraction of the phrase “God be with ye.” Soooo — whenever we say “good-bye” we are really saying GOD BE WITH YOU. How beautiful is that? And affirming God’s presence in Sue’s future as well as the future of NMCC is EXACTLY what we want to be saying this Sunday.

Based upon Psalm 90, the powerful hymn O GOD OUR HELP IN AGES PAST echoes this sentiment as well! In 1719, Isaac Watts — revered as a clergyman and writer of hymns — was already in failing health, yet still steadfastly composing words to express his faith (he published over 800 hymns in his lifetime!!) Picture him sitting at his desk, contemplating the meaning of Psalm 90 in his own life…

“Lord, You have been our dwelling place for all generations…” It was then — though his own body was ailing — that he penned the following: O GOD, OUR HELP IN AGES PAST, OUR HOPE FOR YEARS TO COME… OUR SHELTER FROM THE STORMY BLAST AND OUR ETERNAL HOME.

Originally in 9 stanzas, now in 6, the hymn asserts a faith proclaiming that —no matter what!— GOD IS WITH US ALWAYS… yesterday, today and tomorrow. WITHOUT FAIL. This Sunday, as we honor Sue’s time with us, the choir will sing a choral anthem based upon that famous hymn: OUR HOPE FOR YEARS TO COME, by Mary McDonald. The congregation will join in on the final verse! (click here to listen to a preview)

As we all say a fond “good-bye “ we send her forth with our deep LOVE — all the while trusting in the knowledge that Sue’s future AND the future of NMCC are in the strong and loving hands of our God!!


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