194

Refuge and Rock (Psalm 18)

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Easter hymns accomplish three functions: they recount the Easter narrative, proclaim our Easter hope, and celebrate our joy at Christ’s resurrection. This hymn is built on the professions of Easter truths that are expressed primarily in Heidelberg Catechism. Note especially the following:
  • Lord’s Day 17, Question and Answer 45 declares that Christ’s resurrection makes us share in Christ’s righteousness, raises us to a new life by his power, and is a sure pledge to us of our resurrection.
  • Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 57 comforts us to know that not only our soul but “also my very flesh will be raised by the power of God, reunited with my soul, and made like Christ’s glorious body.”
  • Lord’s Day 22, Question and Answer 58 says that it may be a comfort to know that while experiencing the beginning of eternal joy now, “after this life I will have perfect blessedness such as no eye has seen, no ear has heard, no human heart has ever imagined: a blessedness in which to praise God forever.”
In addition, Our Song of Hope, stanza 5 professes: “On the day of the resurrection, the tomb was empty; His disciples saw Him; death was defeated; new life had come. God’s purpose for the world was sealed.”

Additional Prayers

We sing your praise, O God, for you alone are our protection and our freedom.
By the power of your Spirit, may your strength enable our strength
and your Word shape our words.
Enable us to love you, serve you, and follow you
so that our lives may proclaim the redeeming love of Jesus,
in whose name we pray. Amen.

Tune Information

Name
EARTH AND ALL STARS
Key
G Major or modal
Meter
4.5.10.4.5.10.8.8

Recordings

Hymn Story/Background

This tune, distinguished by its use of melismas, is intended for unison singing. Dale Grotenhuis prepared the harmonization in 1984. Try assigning various stanzas to different groups, but have the entire group sing the refrain. Each stanza should also be divided in half and assigned to smaller groups. Then each group would conclude with "Sing to the Lord a new song," but the entire congregation would still sing the refrain. Some may want to sing the refrain only after the final stanza. Use strong, briskly energetic accompaniment.
 
— Bert Polman

Author Information

Martin Leckebusch (b. Leicester, England, 1962) was educated at Oriel College before going on to study Mathematics at Oxford and Numerical Analysis at Brunel University. He and his wife, Jane, have four daughters; their second child, a son, died in 1995. The family live in Gloucester and belong to a Baptist church.
Martin’s work in hymnody over the past twenty-five years has resulted in almost 400 hymn texts, of which around half have so far been published by Kevin Mayhew. These include the ever-popular More than Words and Songs of God’s People – books which have cemented his status as a talented and accomplished hymn writer.
Martin is keen to see the church equipped for Christian living, and believes that well-crafted and wisely-used contemporary hymns and songs have a vital role to play in that process.
 

Composer Information

David Johnson (b. San Antonio, TX, 1922; d. Phoenix, AZ, 1987), former music department chairman at St. Olaf College, composed EARTH AND ALL STARS and published it in his Twelve Folksongs and Spirituals (1968). Johnson studied at Trinity, University, San Antonio, Texas, and received his master's and doctoral degrees in music from Syracuse University, New York. In addition to St. Olaf, he taught at Syracuse University; Alfred University, Alfred, New York; and Arizona State University. Johnson was organist at Syracuse University and organist and choir director at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Phoenix. His publications include Instruction Book for Beginning Organists and Organ Teacher's Guide; his compositions number over three hundred and include hymn tunes, varied harmonizations, and hymn preludes.
 
— Bert Polman

Dale Grotenhuis (b. Cedar Grove, WI, 1931; d. Jenison, Mi, August 17, 2012) was a member of the 1987 Psalter Hymnal 1987 Revision Committee, and was professor of music and director of choral music at Dordt College, Sioux Center, Iowa, from 1960 until he retired in 1994 to concentrate on composition. Educated at Calvin College; Michigan State University, Lansing; and Ohio State University, Columbus; he combined teaching with composition throughout his career and was a widely published composer of choral music. He also directed the Dordt choir in a large number of recordings, including many psalm arrangements found in the 1959 edition of the Psalter Hymnal.
 
— Bert Polman
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.