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9:30 am Worship in the Sanctuary
Through September 7th
Junior Church for ages 4 through second grade during the service after children's moment with the pastor
Toddler care available during service
Thomas Andrew Dorsey was a black jazz musician from Atlanta. In the twenties he gained a certain amount of notoriety as the composer of jazz tunes with suggestive lyrics, but he gave all that up in 1926 to concentrate exclusively on spiritual music. "Peace in the Valley" is one of his best known songs, but there is a story behind his most famous song that deserves to be told.
In 1932 the times were hard for Dorsey. Just trying to survive the depression years as a working musician meant tough going. On top of that, his music was not accepted by many people. Some said it was much too worldly; "the devil's music" they called it. Many years later Dorsey could laugh about it. He said, "I got kicked out of some of the best churches in the land." But the real kick in the teeth came one night in St. Louis when he received a telegram informing him that his pregnant wife had died suddenly.
Dorsey was so filled with grief that his faith was shaken to the core. But instead of wallowing in self-pity, he turned to the discipline he knew best – music. In the midst of his agony he wrote the following lyrics:
Precious Lord, take my hand,
Lead me on, let me stand.
I am tired, I am weak, I am worn.
Through the storm, through the night,
Lead me on to the light;
Take my hand precious Lord, lead me home.
If you live long enough, you will experience heartache, disappointment, grief and sheer helplessness. The Lord is our most precious resource in those hours of trauma. The Bible reminds us - "The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble" (Psalm 9:9). Tom Dorsey understood that. His song was originally written as a way of coping with his personal pain, but even today it continues to bless thousands of others when they pass through times of hardship. May we always be reminded that God is with us and holding us, especially in the difficult times!