I’m preaching at Trinity Lutheran in Conant and Zion Lutheran in Pinckneyville this weekend. The congregations use the Lutheran Hymnal. Concordia Publishing House has produced a book with suggested hymns for each Sunday of the year; however the suggestions are tied to the Lutheran Service Book. None of the hymns I would have chosen are in the Lutheran Hymnal. So I did what I could to pick hymns that went along with the theme of the lessons.
The opening hymn will be “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty.” When I received a copy of the bulletin from Larry Roethe, I learned it was the 130 anniversary for Zion, Pinckneyville. He reminded me that I had preached at their 125th anniversary. It turns out that when the congregation dedicated it present church building in 1950 the opening hymn for the service was “Open Now Thy Gates of Beauty.”
It’s one of those things that makes one wonder. What simply a fortuitous choice of hymns to fit the occasion or…was God influencing the process of hymn selection without ever letting the selector know who was really in charge, at least in the matter of one of the hymns? It makes one wonder about the mysterious ways of God.