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August 13, 2022 at 12:00 a.m.

By Jim Willis

Read: Psalm 149

Before you quit reading, let me explain what I mean by "Earworms!" No it's not a new outbreak of a new exotic disease like Covid or more recently "Monkeypox" and isn't a new infection of worms that attack the ears. For those who don't know "earworms" happens when you get a song stuck in your head and it just keeps playing over and over in your head.

Over the years I've had my share of "earworms" invade my head. Despite the cry for the "Old Songs" being sung in Church, I've come to have "earworms" show up after hearing some of the new "Praise Songs." Now granted, some of them are as a deacon in the church I attend likes to call them: "7/11" songs--seven words repeated over eleven times. But I like even some of them!

Believe it or not there are some beautiful hymns that have been written over the last fifty years that rival the old standbys such as "The Old Rugged Cross," "A Mighty Fortress Is Our God," "How Great Thou Art," or the all-time favorite, "Amazing Grace" all of which have been "Earworms" to me at one time or another. In the last thirty years some beautiful and singible songs have been written Michael Smith, Andréa Crouch, Keith Getty and Stuart Townend all who have cause me to have "Earworms. Getty and Townend have caused my latest infestation of Earworms. A few years back I heard for the first time their song "How Deep The Father's Love." More recently it was "In Christ Along." If you haven't heard these songs you need too!

About an hour before leaving for church I tune YouTube and listen to hymns. One Sunday morning as I was getting dressed and ready for church, I heard this most beautiful song. I had never heard it before so I stopped what I was doing and sat down and listen to the song again. I checked to see if was in any of my hymnbooks...but it wasn't. The song was "Speak, O Lord" by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend. I had once more been invaded by a very pleasant Earworm. I hummed the tune as I finished getting ready for church. Since then each Sunday morning when I get ready to listen to music while I get ready for church the first song that pops up is "Speak, O Lord." Different groups have recorded it but my favorites are acapella, (one by a church group and my favorite is by David Wesley--he does it acapella and sings all the parts.

Every time I hear this song it reminds me of Samuel when he was told by Eli to say to the Lord, "Speak, Lord your servant is listening." I am reminded as I go to church; I want to listen for the Lord to speak to me through reading of God's Holy Word, the words of the songs that are sung, the prayers that are made, taking of Holy Communion, and the words of the preacher. "Speak, O Lord, as we come to you/To receive the food of Your Holy Word/ Take Your truth, plant it deep in us /Shape and fashion us in Your likeness / That the light of Christ might be seen today/ In our acts of love and our deeds of faith/ Speak, O Lord and fulfill in us All Your purposes for Your Glory." (Keith Getty/Stuart Townend),

The Psalmist David said in Psalm 149:1 "Sing to the LORD a new song, his praise in the assembly of the saints." I wonder if God gets tired of hearing the same songs Sunday after Sunday. I've liked learning new songs all my life and have had lots of outbreaks "Earworms." Someone said, "Learn new songs, sing the old: for one is silver and the other is gold." At one time every song I know was new to me. Have you had a case of "Earworms" lately? If you listen to "Speak, O Lord" you might just develop a case!

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