Message of the Week
“There are saints who light the darkness, and the world cannot contain them,
For the love of God sustains them, they will never be forgotten.
We are blest to have them with us, and we praise the God who made them…”
John Ylvisaker, (1937-2017), the author of this text, was a theologian, ethnomusicologist, and is credited with the composition of over 1,000 song texts/tunes. Throughout his life, Ylvisaker sought to create sacred music accessible to all worshippers. With that welcoming approach to music and a direct connection to characteristics found within American folk music, Ylvisaker is known as “Pete Seeger of the Christian Church.”
This week as we celebrate All Saints and All Souls, Ylvisaker’s text is a poignant tribute remembering those who have passed from this earth. Each of us has been honored to know individuals who have touched our lives through their presence, their actions, their love—and we will never be the same.
“There’s a love that flows within us, and the world cannot create it,
And the world cannot negate it, it is the love of God’s salvation,
And it shines like the sun…”
Twelve years after Ylvisaker penned these words, Dr. Karen Black, an organist and composer from the Midwest, arranged a choral setting—“Shine Like the Sun”–which the St. John’s Vocal Choir offered Tuesday evening at the All Saints Worship Service and will also sing during 9:30 a.m. Worship on Sunday, November 6th.
And as we reflect on the many Saints and Souls from our life’s journey, Ylvisaker’s text offers these closing lines, praising the Triune God:
“Glory be to our Creator! Glory to the Holy One!
Glory be to Christ our Savior, the light, the King of love!
See Him shine like the sun.
They will shine like the sun.”
Soli Deo Gloria!