Sunday, February 15, 2009

He's Got the Whole World in His Hands


Our little family has a tradition of watching the Mormon Tabernacle Choir's "Music and the Spoken Word" program every Sunday at 9:30 am.  It normally acts as a pleasant Sabbath related time-filler before we have to go to church, but this last Sunday, it was much more.

Alex Boye, a member of the Tabernacle choir, gave an outstanding performance as he sang soulful African American spirituals with the choir.  Now, I am not a musician.  I am not a critic.  But, I know when music moves me, and I was move to tears.


The songs sung this particular February morning were chosen from the spirituals, songs primarily written and sang by African American Slaves in the 19th century.  The following is the message that was presented with the music.

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Delivered on: February 8th, 2009
Delivered by: Lloyd D. Newell


A long time ago, unknown artists came up with words and a melody that resound in our hearts today:  

He's got the whole world in His hands...
He's got the wind and the rain in His hands...
He's got the little bitty baby in His hands...
He's got you and me, brother, in His hands...
He's got you and me, sister, in His hands...
He's got everybody here in His hands...
He's got the whole world in His hands...

This simple song has since made its way into classrooms, on concert stages, and around campfires across the world.  Its message of a loving Creator showing tender concern for His creations is comforting and encouraging in these days of uncertainty--just as it was in those uncertain days when it was first written.

"He's Got the Whole World in His Hands" reflects the rich tradition of powerful and poignant artistic expressions called spirituals.  Composed mostly during the 19th century by African Americans, they sing of great hope for a coming day of peace and rest.  Even though most of the songwriters were oppressed and held captive at the time, their songs almost universally expressed a buoyant belief in the liberty of the soul.

That belief, that hope is something all of us need.  Whenever we feel demoralized or discouraged, we would do well to remember the message of the sweet and simple spirituals, composed and sung by those whose unbounded hope kept them going, kept them alive.  The message is often expressed simply, but it is profound: never stop believing, even when, at times, the whole world seems to be in peril.  Because, after all, "He's got the whole world in His hands."

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1 comment:

Pam C. said...

That's lovely. Thanks for sharing it.