I heard a band recently sing “You Can’t Stand Up Alone,” which declares our dependence on others and God. Daybreak composed this song in the 1970s, and it first appeared on vinyl, though you can find it today on YouTube.
We can’t stand up alone. We can’t succeed in life at any stage by relying only on ourselves. From infancy to the grave, we need others. My two-week-old grandson is entirely dependent on his parents. This past week at a church memorial service for a man who lived ninety productive years, it was clear that he needed others throughout his life.
“You can’t stand up all by yourself; you can’t stand up alone. You need the touch of a mighty hand; you can’t stand up alone.” The band Daybreak included young men my age, some of whom attended the same college I did in the late 1970s. They did a fabulous job with the lyrics and arrangement of this song.
At each step of our lives, we need the touch of a mighty hand. That touch comes through the love, nurture, and support of others. God reaches into our lives with grace and Spirit-power as we acknowledge the simple reality that we can’t stand up alone.
A great opening hymn for worship expresses confidence that God is near. What is this place brings the reality of God into our midst and declares that God is among us and cares for us when we are gathered together.
Our church meets outside in the parking lot during the pandemic. We sing outside and conduct our worship services on the pavement next to the building. We’ve grown used to this pattern, and many of us like the outdoors for worship each week.
In one of these recent worship services, the phrase “…and know our God is near” impacted me in an assuring way. Despite a global struggle with a virus, conflicts in society and the world, and uncertainty about the future, we rest assured that “our God is near.”
We can be confident in God’s nearness and know that where we meet, whether in a church sanctuary or outside or online, that God is around us and supporting our lives. When we meet, we become a body that lives and breathes Holy Spirit power and courage, and we leave knowing that God is near.
We sang Blessed Assurance as our opening song at church yesterday. Rich four-part a cappella harmonies, the swelling chorus, and the realities of life all combined to make the song a highlight of my entire worship service.
Give me a good hymn or song in a Sunday worship service, and it can carry me through the week. As author Fanny Crosby wrote in 1873, “this is my story, this is my song, praising my Savior all the day long.”
We sang Blessed Assurance from the 2020 Voices Together hymnal. I was glad to see guitar chords added. I played the chords, and they work nicely with the tune. The editors changed one word in Crosby’s public domain hymn, which helps the text, I think.
May we rest this week on God’s blessed assurances. I will sing of God’s story in my life, accepting the heavenly delights of good music to give me a “foretaste of glory divine.”
After 33 years of teaching history and Bible classes at Eastern Mennonite School, Elwood Yoder is ready to “re-wire” — not retire — for a new chapter of history making.
Eastern Mennonite School posted an article about my retirement from teaching. Here’s a link to that article. The photo is from one of the many senior graduation parties I attended at the end of the 2020-21 school year.