We sing, as we have for 40 years, about the joys of the kingdom, especially as they may be found on Earth. The Hebrew tradition says that Yahweh told Moses to take off his shoes, for “this is holy ground.” The African-American spiritual assures us “My God is a Rock,” and composers from Hassler to Victoria, Palestrina to Dufay have found musical comfort and inspiration from texts such as “Upon this Rock shall I build my church” or “I was glad when they said unto me, let us go into the house of the Lord.” The great English carol says, “King Jesus hath a garden.” Ours is filled with music from the Spanish Renaissance to Anglican chant, from Hebrew psalms to early American hymns. Keep your shoes on if you like, but know that we will be on holy ground.
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