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Tag: Spirituals

Sober but Serene Themes of Judgment in the Spirituals

November 7, 2018 1 Comment
Sober but Serene Themes of Judgment in the Spirituals

I’ve often been impressed by the ability of old African-American spirituals to treat serious subjects in a clear, memorable, and almost joyful way. This is true even of weighty matters like sin and judgment. During early November we are focused on the four last things (death, judgment, Heaven, and hell) and November is also Black […]

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Rock-a My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham – the Wisdom of an Old Spiritual

August 20, 2018 0 Comments
Rock-a My Soul in the Bosom of Abraham – the Wisdom of an Old Spiritual

In times like these, you need a refuge, a place to rest. There is an old African-American spiritual that says, “Rock-a my soul in the bosom of Abraham. Oh, rock-a my soul!” At first glance its meaning may seem obscure, but it speaks to a deep tradition and a kind of spiritual strategy that has […]

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Celebrating the Spirituals: Sober but Joyful

December 2, 2011 6 Comments

I’ve often been impressed at the capacity of the Old African American Spirituals to treat of serious matters in a clear yet almost joyful way. This is true even of very serious concepts like sin and judgment. Look at some of the creative lines all from different spirituals: I would not be a sinner, I’ll […]

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On Creative Genius and Music as a Kind of Onomatopoeia

April 30, 2010 8 Comments

A few days ago we discussed whether Angels sing. My own conclusion from the discussion is that there is little or no evidence that Angels sing. About the closest reference is Job 38:7 and even there it is not perfectly clear that they sing. Perhaps the most positive way to state my point is that […]

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Celebrating the Spirituals: Sober but Serene on Serious Themes

December 10, 2009 4 Comments

I’ve often been impressed at the capacity of the Old African American Spirituals to treat of serious matters in a clear yet almost joyful way. This is true even of very serious concepts like sin and judgment.  Look at some of the creative lines all from different spirituals: I would not be a sinner, I’ll tell […]

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Why Are You Worrying? Didn’t My Lord Deliver Daniel?

August 19, 2009 2 Comments

We often think that worry and anxiety just happen to us. But the fact is that they result from our thoughts. Thoughts are the source of our worry. If we tend to think negatively, or to catastrophize or to focus on negative things we will grow anxious and sometimes angry. But the Bible says we […]

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What Are You Longing For? What do you Want?

May 1, 2009 1 Comment

There’s an old Gospel Song that says, “I heard my mother say, ‘Give me Jesus. You may have all this world; just give me Jesus.’”  In my own life I heard people get to the mature point in their life when they could really say those words without any simulation or exaggeration. In particular I have […]

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