Preparing for Worship – Jeff Brummel, associate minister of music/organist.
In brainstorming for today’s Preparing for Worship article, one thought kept recurring to me. Legacy. As I sat and studied the order of worship, I noticed certain moments on the page that stuck with me.
First, I would like to point out the student and teacher relationship regarding the composer of the prelude this morning. It is commonly held that the most revered organist to ever live was Johann Sebastian Bach. However, one of Bach’s star pupils was Johann Ludwig Krebs. It was said that Krebs was second in ability only to Bach. The full reach of Bach’s student lineage continues even through to today. I myself am a ninth-generation pupil in this line of students.
Jumping to the postlude at the end: The 20th-century American organist and church musician Paul Manz taught many organists through his organ compositions. Manz’s style of setting hymns for the organ in worship created a movement within the U.S. that inspired organists such as our friend Al Travis, former organist at Broadway Baptist Church in Fort Worth. For those who don’t know, Dr. Travis was my organ professor and mentor in seminary as well as a dear friend.
Legacy and teaching are not only found in the bookends of today’s service. We have a children’s moment today — a time to celebrate the spiritual nurturing of our younger students in our community of faith.
As I continued to peruse today’s pious pamphlet, I noticed the two Scripture readings. First, the Gospel reading is a parable. We know that people learn through stories, and Jesus was a masterful teacher in this way. However, it was the reading from Philippians that particularly caught my attention and reignited memories from childhood.
“Rejoice in the Lord always” jumped right off the page and into my musical inner ear to prompt me to sing the song — you know the one: “Rejoice, rejoice, and again I say rejoice.” This song is taught to children to remind them to always rejoice, no matter what. That’s a poignant lesson for all of us today.
If it were not for Bach, we might not have had Krebs or Manz as well as others. Imagine where we would be without the parables of Jesus, or indeed the narrative found in the collective works of Scripture. What a debt of gratitude for the legacy that our teachers have left to us students.
Over these many months of the pandemic, I have observed Wilshire retaining her culture of teaching and learning through Sunday School, youth and children’s gatherings, book clubs, music ensembles, online worship … the list goes on. Because Wilshire continues to sow the seeds of knowledge and spiritual inspiration, our legacy continues to grow, and we Rejoice!