As I launch this new website, I wanted to post a song I recently worked on because it has special significance today, March 1.
I grew up in Mason City, IA and attended Faith Baptist Church. After our monthly communion service, we would welcome new members with a “right hand of fellowship” and sing the song “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.” As a result, I grew up knowing the first stanza of this song very well.
Last summer I visited Lighthouse Baptist Church as I prepared to join the church as an assistant pastor, and the Sunday night that I was here we had communion. At the end of the service, everyone gathered in a big circle around the sanctuary, joined hands, and sang the same song that I grew up hearing on Communion Sunday.
However, at Lighthouse Baptist Church, we also sing the fourth stanza, and it was new to me. But the words were so powerful that I instantly gained a new appreciation for the song. It talks about the relationship that believers enjoy with each other as a part of the body of Christ. Here’s a little history about the author and the possible background of the song if you’re interested: Hymn Story: Blest Be the Tie that Binds.
When my grandma on my dad’s side (we call her Lola) passed away at the beginning of this year, this song came to mind, and I thought about hope we have in Christ and the heavenly reunion that will take place someday. So I decided to take this song and add an eschatological refrain to each stanza.
My Lola was born on February 29, 1920. As a result, three out of every four years her birthday was celebrated on March 1, so today we would have celebrated her 97th birthday. She loved music, and her generosity over the years was one of the reasons my family has been able to continue developing our musical abilities.
So in memory of my Lola, the first song on the Echoing His Praises website is “Blest Be the Tie that Binds” with a forward-looking refrain.
You can download this song for free and listen to a piano rendition of it on my downloads page.
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