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Listen while you read: "He Leadeth Me: O Blessed Thought"1 (Lyrics)

To be born Welsh is to be born with music in your blood and poetry in your soul. – Welsh proverb

Welsh men's choirs are world-renowned and have become the most treasured and remarkable feature of Wales. Hymn singing there was closely tied with the Welsh Methodist revival of the late 18th century, and men and women found choral singing in their chapels to be a source of comfort and respite from the daily industrial grind of the coal mines.

Bryn Seion (Mount Zion), the last Welsh church on the west coast of North America, is located in Beavercreek, Oregon, USA, a tiny hamlet near Portland. The church holds an annual Gymanfa Ganu (hymn-singing festival) on the fourth Sunday of June. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2021 Gymanfa Ganu — like most other similar public events — has been cancelled for a second year. Because I have a few drops of Welsh blood running through my veins (the surnames Llewellyn and Roberts in my family line evidence that), I love to take part in this festival. On a typical Gymanfa Ganu Sunday, this tiny country church is full to the rafters with the stalwart faithful lustily singing in four-part harmony. A couple of years ago, our director emphasized that we should especially pay close attention to the words that we were singing, since the depth and meaning of the words carries the beauty of the music.

She then drew our attention to the instruction at the top of the page to sing the hymn "in jubilant style". That certainly affects the manner in which one sings! Singing in jubilant style increases the energy, forcefulness, and excitement with which one expresses praise to God.

To be jubilant means to feel or express great happiness and triumph. We may not always feel very jubilant, however. In the dark times when we may wonder if God sees us or hears our prayers, we can trust His all-encompassing wisdom to guide our path. A heart attitude of gratitude and praise to God in all things is like a jubilant hymn of thanksgiving raised to Him. We could call this deep, settled peace a sort of quiet, inner jubilation.

Scripture also exhorts all of creation to jubilantly praise God. Not only are His people exhorted to praise Him with voices and instruments, but nature — the sea, the fields, the trees, and even the stones — can magnify God.

1 Chronicles 16:32 – Let the sea resound, and all that is in it; let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them! (NIV)

Psalm 96:12b – Then all the trees of the forest will sing for joy. (NIV)

Luke 19:40 – "I tell you," [Jesus] replied, "if they keep quiet, the stones will cry out." (NIV)

Even though we are living in troubling, uncertain times, let's praise God "in jubilant style", knowing that our praise honours Him!

Prayer: Dear heavenly Father, we have so much for which to jubilantly praise You. May we put aside the fears and concerns of our everyday life as we focus on all that You have done for us, and jubilantly give thanks to You, our loving, caring heavenly Father. Amen.

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About the author:

Gail Lundquist <gail10833@gmail.com>
Beaverton, Oregon, USA

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1 Comment

  • PresbyCan Feedback says:

    Thanks for the good word, Gail.


    Wonderful history which I knew nothing about. Thank you! Blessings.


    I jubilantly thank you for your encouraging message. It is a timely reminder of the need to express our joy in God’s blessings.


    Oh, WOW, Gail! What a joy to read and contemplate! Love to be there with you when the singing starts. Well-written and thoughtful.


    Good morning, Gail.
    Many thanks for your thoughtful and beautifully stated devotional.
    Blessings.


    Thank you for this writing. When I hiked the West Coast Trail a number of years ago, I could feel nature glorifying God. I found myself praising in a jubilant style right along with nature! Good scripture support. Enjoy sabbath.


    Thank you for your devotional message. We visited Wales a few years ago and listened to a wonderful male choir. We even got to sing along. I would like to know the hymns they sing at their festival. Singing jubilantly is my favourite way to praise God.


    Good morning Gail
    Wow, I enjoyed your devotional and the scripture verses used really speak jubilance for sure!! Stirs something up in my soul. Thank you!
    God bless.


    Good Sunday morning Gail
    Let’s praise God in jubilant style indeed, like you say, not always easy to do, but necessary. Thank you for writing these encouraging words.
    Blessings on you day.


    Greetings Gail,
    You have presented another very profound devotional. Having our loving heavenly Father always at our side truly gives us reason to be jubilant and spread that joy to those around us.
    Blessings for these special writings you do.


    Dear Gail,
    I don’t think anyone could read your devotional and not feel JUBILANT. It is wonderful to learn a little about a Welsh church in Oregon and a wise choir leader. It is so true that we have a lot to be thankful for even at this time and we can be jubilant in our thanks to the Lord. Thank you for sharing and lifting my spirit with your thoughts. Blessings.


    Thanks so much Gail! Joy is a word I live by. Jubilant is like the “Sunday” word for this, for garnering from many dictionaries it is used to describe joy, expressed in happy shouts, songs, and cheers. Just saying the word brings a smile to my lips!
    I needed this as there are many testings in my life at this time and living joyfully is a stretch!
    Your words were encouragement to “just do it”.
    Bless you!
    (BC)

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