Monday, April 23, 2012

Song of the church

This song cracks me up.

Now I know there’s a good bit of sincerity here, but there is something about it that just plain tickles me.

With that said, here is my readiest recollection of how I came to “own” this piece of a cappella sheet music:

One fine Sunday, our youth group took a road trip to conduct a worship service for a small country congregation.* We were a group of boys with Bibles in hands, ready to lead a prayer or a song, or—for three or four of us—ready to deliver a five-minute lesson. A bunch of girls came along for the ride, ready to sing like angels and to mix in with the typically-older locals we would see there.**

And we arrived at the tiny building about 30 minutes too early, because we always allowed enough time just in case we had a flat tire on the van or if someone happened to throw up or something. And I sat down in one of the pews and began thumbing through the hymnal to kill some time. Then … I … saw … it. Song #1. “The Church of Christ.”

What in the world?

I showed it to a few other guys, and we had a good laugh. It was as if we’d been on a 17-year journey together, and we’d just discovered there’d been a theme song for us all along. It reminded me of the verse in Romans that people quoted from time to time or that sometimes appeared on the back of bulletins: “The churches of Christ salute you.” But, for some reason, Mr. Crum’s song hadn’t received quite as much acclaim.

I had never seen it before. I thought I might never see it again. I had to have it.


And the song was all mine.

* There are—or at least there used to be—a million of these smaller churches in Arkansas, and I have many warm memories of attending them.
** Actually, now that I think about it, the girls would have been great at the praying and song-leading and other stuff, but that is a conversation for another day.


  1. I can't believe you defiled a song book like that. :-)

    I'm trying to picture what Uncle Bud's facial expression and bodily posture would've been if someone had ever asked us to sing that song. One of my favorite memories of him is how he looked whenever we had to sing a Stamps-Baxter or VE Howard type song. He had a downright visceral response to -- uhm -- let's call it "not quite high church" music.

  2. Lisa, our beloved high school choir director (I believe it was him) explained in chapel that a lot of those songs contained "vain repetition," and it's really important to avoid that. I'd love to hear/see Uncle Bud's reaction to some of the newer "seven-eleven" songs.

    Mike, there is a hymn in the Presbyterian Hymnal called "The Church of Christ In Every Age," which would actually make a pretty good theme song for Churches of Christ.

  3. Lisa, I remember a conversation with a friend. He said we might want to avoid any church music that we could "tap our feet to."

    Jennifer, I just looked up the song. Loved it >>> "The church of Christ in every age, beset by change but Spirit-led ..."