“Grace pouring forth like a fountain flowing
Our hearts open wide to sing your praise.
And our sound becomes sweet
with Your anthems ringing
Praise to the Name
of the Lord.”
Fernando Ortega “Sing Allelu,” “The Odes Project,” 2008
Fernando Ortega is one of the most worshipful song leaders I’ve ever heard; his praise music and original hymns are favorites because of the beautiful melodies and powerful words. Hearing him sing live a few years ago fed this singer’s heart; his presence at the piano stirred and inspired. (You may have heard him sing, “Just Give Me Jesus” as a tribute for Ruth Bell Graham.)
After a recent road trip where “The Odes” CD accompanied me, I had “Sing Allelu” coursing through my spirit, with one word in particular: “anthem.”
Curious about its meaning, I found out (no surprise to many of you) it is from the Greek, ‘antiphon’–sounding in answer, a voice in return, a hymn of praise.’ All of creation was made to ‘answer back’ to the Creator; why? I wondered.
I am desperate during these busy summer days to stitch together any minutes I can to take just.slow.down.
Slow down, if not with an actual Sabbath break, but with a Sabbath heart. A heart that leans towards God, asking questions like,
- “Why do daylilies shoot skyward?
- “Why do tree limbs head up and out?”
- “How do clouds stay stacked up-up-up as they scud across the blue?”
Why indeed? They are ‘answering back’ to their Creator.
May we ever do the same.
(this is a significantly edited post from four Julys ago).