Thursday, 23 February 2006


I spent this afternoon with an Ichtus (Flemish IFES movement) staff worker planning the 2 'worship' sessions for this weekend's national GBU/Ichtus camp. Wonderful! We get to lead the students in praising, confessing and adoring our God, repenting, praying and encouraging each other in the gospel as they sing. A wonderful privilege and I pray that God will be glorified in it.

This evening I discovered that of the songs chosen, a few of the songs I thought existed in French don't exist in French at all, others have been translated badly so as to water down their truth and most of the rest have been translated badly so you've no hope of fitting the words with the tune. Ah, you say, so why don't you use songs originally written in French? - That would indeed be nice, I answer, but we need them to exist in Dutch too! [And with a couple of Bulgarians coming, some must also be in English.] I'm spending all this evening battling through folders and the internet in a hunt for lyrics. Next time any of you are leading a meeting or music group for worship, and are feeling a bit hassled, pause and give thanks to God that you don't have to do it all in THREE LANGUAGES! And next time you're not sure about the wording of a line in a song, give thanks that you don't have to check it in three languages.

I'm not currently feeling like praising the Lord. Which suggests that my vision's gone a bit narrow. So join with me as I remind myself:

It is good to give thanks to the LORD,
to sing praises to your name, O Most High;
to declare your steadfast love in the morning,
and your faithfulness by night,
to the music of the lute and the harp,
to the melody of the lyre.
For you, O LORD, have made me glad by your work;
at the works of your hands I sing for joy. [Psalm 92:1-4]

So then, what does the gospel say about this? I'm finding it frustrating trying to praise the Lord in just 3 languages together? Why, it's a testimony to God's gospel, overturning the curse of Babel to the glory of his name! Of course there are still frustrations in it. We're not yet in the fully consummated Kingdom where we'll all from every tongue praise the Lord (bags I not in charge of the acetates ;-)) - we're still in the 'now' where there are thorns and thistles even in getting a bunch of people together to praise the God who has redeemed us. So I'm going to use this frustration to remind me of when it won't be frustrating any more. To look forward to what one song (available only in English and Dutch) says: a place where the streets shine with the glory of the Lamb!

Be thou my vision, O Lord! For it is good to give thanks to the LORD, to sing praises to your name, O Most High!

[Now I know Be Thou My Vision is out there in French somewhere; we sang it at my church...]

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