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People of the Lord

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

It is vitally important that worshipers understand the role of God’s law among us. God gives his law to us, not so that we can earn his favor by full obedience, for even those converted to God cannot obey this law perfectly. Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 44, Question and Answer 114 says, “In this life even the holiest have only a small beginning of this obedience.” Instead, says Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 2, Question and Answer 3, through this law “we come to know [our] misery.” 
 
Yet in their new life of gratitude, God’s children “with all seriousness of purpose, do begin to live according to all, not only some, of God’s commandments” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 44, Question and Answer 114). They measure their good works of gratitude as “those which are done out of true faith, conform to God’s law, and are done for God’s glory” (Heidelberg Catechism, Lord’s Day 33, Question and Answer 91). 
 
In other words, though Christ has fulfilled the law for us, “The truth and substance of these things remain for us in Jesus Christ…[and] we continue to use the witnesses drawn from the law and prophets to confirm us in the gospel and to regulate our lives with full integrity for the glory of God according to the will of God” (Belgic Confession, Article 25). Therefore, the Ten Commandments with explanation are included in the third section, “gratitude,” (Lord’s Days 34-44) of Heidelberg Catechism.
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People of the Lord

Additional Prayers

O God, Beginning and Completion,
in Jesus Christ you confirmed your covenant with us
and sealed every promise in his blood.
Empower us through your Holy Spirit to teach all you have commanded,
tell all you have done, and live as those who are deeply and eternally loved,
for the glory and praise of your name. Amen.

A Prayer for Faithfulness along Generations
Eternal God, you who span the ages, we want to be faithful in our own age.  We want to tell strangers the good news of the gospel, but first we want to tell our daughters.  We want to tell friends the good news of the gospel, but first we want to tell our sons.  If we are people without children, free from family constraints, free to witness wherever we are, we want to tell everyone the good news of the gospel.  But first we want to tell whomever we love, for Jesus’ sake.  Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
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People of the Lord

Tune Information

Name
JENNY VAN TSCHEGG
Key
F Major or modal
Meter
5.5.5.5.8.9.8.9

Recordings

Musical Suggestion

Greg Scheer’s melody was composed in the very unusual meter of 7/8. At first glance 7/8 might seem to be a very difficult meter, with groups of 2 + 2 + 3 notes in each measure. But the tune just dances, and it stands right in the sixteenth-century melodic tradition: the familiar Genevan tune for Psalm 42 (also sung to the text “Comfort, Comfort, Now My People”) similarly alternates between duple and triple beats (3 + 3 + 2 + 2).
 
Greg Scheer’s arrangement makes the tune very accessible by using an echo pattern that could be sung or played on an instrument. Try having the choir introduce it, if possible with children on the echo, which would be symbolic and delightful. Sing it in unison through the first eight measures, and then break into harmony. I find the last measure before the repeat sign a bit challenging; it’s great to keep the meter going, but it may be hard for the people to come in confidently on the first beat for each stanza. Instead, at the end of the introduction and between stanzas, experiment with playing one 4/4 bar with two strong half notes (for example, stretching the first 2 beats of measure 8 into 4 beats), then landing solidly on the first downbeat.
(from Reformed Worship, Issue 92)
— Emily Brink

Different sections of the congregation may alternate in the singing of the lead and the echo. Or a solo voice can sing the lead with all responding with the echo. This setting is distilled from a larger composition by Greg Scheer.
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Hymn Story/Background

This setting of Psalm 78:1-7 by Greg Scheer won an international competition to celebrate the 500th anniversary of John Calvin’s birth in 2009.  Since the competition was international, it was subsequently translated from English into Dutch, French, German, and Spanish (see http://www.john-calvin.org/en/calvin-actio2/listen/hymn.html ), and it was sung in a service in Geneva, Switzerland that was video-streamed live on Pentecost Sunday, May 31, 2009, to several gathered worshiping communities around the world. 
 
The psalm setting honors both the importance of psalm singing in the Reformed tradition and the focus in Psalm 78 to continue to “tell our sons and daughters the wonders of our living God.”   Scheer even chose a rhythmic structure in a style found in the 16th century Genevan Psalter developed under Calvin’s leadership. 
 
About the tune, Scheer said, “It didn’t occur to me at all until someone pointed it out that I had just written a setting of Psalm 78 in 7/8 time. But that’s typical of life when you’re a composer—things take on a mysterious life of their own once they leave your pen.” At first glance 7/8 might seem to be a very difficult meter, with groups of 2 + 2 + 3 notes in each measure. But the tune just dances, and it stands right in the sixteenth-century melodic tradition also found in the tune for Psalm 42 (also sung to the text “Comfort, Comfort, Now My People”), which similarly alternates between duple and triple beats (3 + 3 + 2 + 2).  Scheer’s arrangement makes the tune very accessible by using an echo pattern that could be sung or played on an instrument. Try having a small group introduce it, if possible with children on the echo, which would be symbolic and delightful.
 
Scheer also wrote, “One of the things I worked on the longest was deciding what to call the hymn’s tune.”  He finally chose the name JENNY VAN TSCHEGG, and many have wondered who she is.  In asking, Greg with a grin asked me to say the tune name fast, and soon it became clear that the quip about the Genevan Psalter being filled with “Genevan jigs” is picked up in this name.  
— Emily Brink

Composer Information

Greg Scheer (b. 1966) has composed hundreds of pieces, songs and arrangements. His music is published by Augsburg Fortress, GIA, Abingdon Press, Worship Today, Faith Alive and in numerous hymnals. He has won commissions from the Iowa Choral Directors Association, Iowa Composers Forum, Linn-Mar High School String Orchestra, Chagall String Quartet and Northwestern College. His electronic piece, "Crossfade," was included on the CD ...from everlasting to everlasting... His string quartet "6" was featured on WQED in Pittsburgh and was also a winning composition in the 2000 Southeastern Composers' Symposium. His hymn "People of the Lord" won the Calvin09 hymn contest and was subsequently sung and published internationally.
— Greg Scheer
Hymnary.org does not have a score for this hymn.



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