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Name That Tune

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BY THE REV. DAVID MERRITT |

A long time ago in a galaxy far away…Oh, so sorry I was thinking about a different show. Yes, many years ago there was a popular show that asked contestants to name a tune of a popular song or broadway tune. In each episode, a songstress sang the melody line of each hit and after a few melodic phrases, each person was asked to name the title of the song. As much as one could enjoy the music, it was the contestant’s memories of the songs that added to the drama of the show.

A large part of what influences our lives are the songs both secular and sacred that we sang, listened to, or played in our lives. For me, having older brothers, I listened to their top ten playlists from WTOB whenever we rode together in their car. My father never missed a Lawrence Welk Show and I never had a choice to not listen. And in church life, I had the unique privilege to be nurtured by the hymns, youth songs, anthems, and chorales of my youth and young adult years.

Perhaps you can name the tune that you sang in high school chorus. Others remember the melody of that first dance. I still remember the band competition at Western Carolina as we played the theme from the movie Patton. But on a personal level, let me suggest that you, yourself have a tune to sing that is your song. It is a song that you sing as you pick up the children – a ditty with no particular words. Maybe the song you sing is just an assortment of pitches and a strong beat underneath. In any event, the song you sing is your song. It is your life song, the song that you are.

Our goal as defined by the Catechism is to live fully for God and Glorify God forever. Throughout the days of our life, we sing a song that comes from the heart. With tears, we sing a song of remembrance for losses felt and for defeats in life’s battles. Pushing through the fog of despair, we sing songs that guide us past the sharp turns and narrow ravines that line our path. And in the sunshine of a new dawn, we sing a song of bright new beginnings and hopeful aspirations for God’s unfolding plans.


As much as anything in God’s world, the past year we remember is a call to sing your song, loudly and clearly each day that you live. And as you sing, others will be able to name that tune that is you! Join with me as we sing together the last stanza of this song/poem by J.Rosamond Johnson and James Weldon Johnson – “Lift Every Voice and Sing.”

God of our weary years,
God of our silent tears,
Thou who has brought us thus far on the way;
Thou who has by Thy might Led us into the light,
Keep us forever in the path, we pray.
Lest our feet stray from the places, our God, where we met Thee,
Lest, our hearts drunk with the wine of the world, we forget Thee;
Shadowed beneath Thy hand,
May we forever stand.
True to our God,
True to our native land.


About the Author

Photo courtesy of Mike Riess.

The Rev. David Merritt is a retired Pastor, former Dean, Outreach Director, and Chaplain, but he’s “papa” according to his grandkids. David loves God, Laurel Ridge, and his family. He has enough sense to get out of the rain but prefers raindrops anyway.


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