“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul; it is one of the most magnificent and delightful presents God has given us.” ~ Martin Luther
Without a doubt I know where my love of church hymns came from. When I was growing up, we lived next door to our church organist. Back then there was no air conditioning so on fair weather days from late spring to mid autumn the doors and windows were flung wide open. Nearly every evening after dinner, we heard our neighbor practicing on his organ preparing music for each Sunday at Maryland Presbyterian Church.
I’ve often considered how our neighbor’s love of liturgical music has been passed down to his grandson. Jake Ziegler is the second generation in that family to serve a church with his musical gifts; he’s Minister of Music at St. Mark’s Lutheran Church. A few weeks ago I went to hear him play the organ. Talented! His careful selection of songs such as “A Mighty Fortress,” “All Things Bright and Beautiful” and “How Great Thou Art” brought many memories and much pleasure. The words tell beautiful stories about the glories of heaven and earth, love, praise and protection.
As I sat in the pew and glanced around at the colorful stained glass windows I also took in the Biblical stories they told. Jake’s mom, Marge (my childhood next-door neighbor and friend) is a stained glass artist. She also works with fused glass creation. Surely, her interest in her craft developed as a result of her childhood exposure to churches.
The day of my visit to St. Mark’s I heard a meaningful message about Mother’s Day and was reminded by the pastor that we are all born with our unique God-given gifts. Both Marge and her son Jake are continually developing their artistic talents and sharing them throughout their communities. Kudos!