“Turn, turn, turn” – listening to The Byrds on Sunday morning…

To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:

A time to be born,
And a time to die;
A time to plant,
And a time to pluck what is planted;
A time to kill,
And a time to heal;
A time to break down,
And a time to build up;
A time to weep,
And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn,
And a time to dance;
A time to cast away stones,
And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace,
And a time to refrain from embracing;
A time to gain,
And a time to lose;
A time to keep,
And a time to throw away;
A time to tear,
And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence,
And a time to speak;
A time to love,
And a time to hate;
A time of war,
And a time of peace. – Ecclesiastes 3:1-8

The Byrds singing Turn, Turn, Turn

I had an interesting experience Wednesday afternoon. You are going to have to attend worship with WFPC this weekend to judge for yourselves, but for me the way the music came together was as significant a “God-moment” as I have enjoyed in the recent past.

Here is the sequence of events as it happened; the final bullet point will play out around 10:30 Sunday morning.

  • It was late Tuesday afternoon and Rebekah was working on her sermon for this weekend. Due to some technical challenges with our equipment at WFPC Rebekah is having to preach during the week – then the message is dropped into Sunday’s live service at the appropriate time.
  • Me: “What is your scripture?”
  • Rebekah: “Ecclesiastes 3. You know, the ‘There is a season…’ passage.”
  • Me: “Oh, like The Byrds’ song, Turn, Turn, Turn (written by Pete Seeger). That’s probably Hans’ favorite tune (Hans plays in the Praise Band). Hey, if I could arrange it would you like the song for special music?”
  • Rebekah: “That would be wonderful.”
  • So I get on the email and within an hour we have a commitment from both Hans and our drummer to be there the next day to record.
  • Suddenly I have to learn the song ASAP, PDQ.
  • Wednesday at 4:30, there we are there at the church, kind of ready to go.

220px-TheByrdsTurnTurnTurnAlternateHans knows what he’s doing; Brett knows what he’s doing; me, not so much. However by take number 4 we nail down an acceptable version of Turn, Turn, Turn and we give AV guy Jim the thumbs up. That’s when Steve walks in with his bass guitar! Okay, now we have to go one more time. Fortunately, Steve knows what he’s doing too.

a little raw but truth all the same:

God entered the equation in terms of truth. The rendition was raw and a little shaky; we had trouble getting into the song; we made some mistakes. But what we did was all about communicating God’s word in song. For me, it could not have been more beautiful.

Listen in this morning (Sunday). Worship with us at Wake Forest Presbyterian Church, listen to Rebekah’s message, and hang around for the “special” music. But I think you will find one thing in the middle of all the missed cues, the fudged lines, and the questionable notes; you will find an authentic spirit of love for God and a genuine passion for praise.

Derek Maul lives, writes (and sometimes sings) in Wake Forest, NC

This is the church! This is the coming together of people who love God to bring freshness and life into our offering of praise.

Directly from Ecclesiastes and the word of God, to Pete Seeger, and then “Top of the Pops” via Jim McGuinn and The Byrds.

I will see you in church – DEREK


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