Academic journal article The Hymn

Tuned for Your Sake: Hymns 1987-2007

Academic journal article The Hymn

Tuned for Your Sake: Hymns 1987-2007

Article excerpt

Tuned for Your Sake: Hymns 1987-2007 by Richard Leach. Pittsburgh, PA: Selah Publishing Company, 2007. 286 pp. ISBN: 0-9677408-9-4. U.S. $ 24.50.

The advantage of a compilation of twenty years of hymn texts is that the retrospective organization assists the reader in absorbing the breadth of spiritual meaning in the assembled texts. That is the case with this user-friendly volume, with its scriptural references and recommended tunes at the bottom of each text and large page numbers and subdivision titles set in the margins. Readers who are familiar with the texts from their wide use and publication in various forms since 1987 will recognize the range of images, metaphors, and poetic devices that unfold, emphasize, and clarify scripture.

The book has been divided into meaningful sections: "Praising God & Hearing Scripture;" "Meeting Jesus;" and "The Spirit & the Church." As a lay reader of hymn texts, I found the topics particularly inviting as a way to organize personal devotions. I think pastors will find them helpful in sermon and worship planning as well. There is also the requisite section of indexes at the back to assist the user.

The author is a native son of Maine, was educated at Bowdoin and Princeton and served as a pastor in Connecticut for more than twenty years. He now makes his home with his wife Beverly in Pike County, PA.

The texts weave old images in new and unique ways, as in the text, "Go Ask a Rainbow." Although use of the rainbow as a metaphor for diversity is not new, this text makes startling use of it for developing congregational awareness: "Go ask a rainbow in the sky / if red can say to green or blue, / ? …

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