One of the hymns was They'll Know We Are Christians, which I love, but which has been ruined for me by Ari's spot-on critique that it implies that only Christians show that kind of love, etc.
JoeF said last time he'd gotten in trouble for thanking the ladies who put out the food for fellowship afterward too late in the program (i.e., after they had already left to go set up) so he wanted to be sure to thank them early in the program. After thanked them and the people who bring food, someone in the audience piped up that there are also guests who bring stuff, and I think that was covered adequately in his thank yous, but unfazed he just said, "Thank you: Guests Who Bring Stuff."
One of the hymns was When We All Get to Heaven. I love the upbeatness of that -- the joy at the idea of being close to death.
Introducing someone, JoeF shared an anecdote about last year when "I had some repair work on my heart." Gotta love that; who else talks about heart surgery like that?
One of the hymns was "Jehovah Jireh." Bzuh? And copyright 1974? Singspiration's supposed to be about the "old" songs. The next phrase in the song is "my Provider;" clearly written by a Bostonian.
They had a couple of guys with guitars who did a great job seguing seamlessly through three songs.
Lonesome Valley / I Saw the Light / Swing Low, Sweet Chariot [I think this might have been the first time I realized this song draws on the Elijah story.]
Then they did: Oldtime Religion / Lonesome Valley chorus / This Little Light of Mine / Lonesome Valley chorus
"Oldtime Religion" squicks me, obviously. The version they sang had the line "It was good enough for Mark and Matthew" which, hello! no Christian today practices religion the way the apostles did; it's just a fact of historical development. Lines also included "it makes me love everybody" (which I thought was interesting) and "it will take us all to heaven."
A guy from Victory Assembly of God, whose singing I had been impressed by last time, did a song called "He Is." [Google: by Third Day/Aaron Jeoffrey] Goes through all the books of the Bible, Old and New Testament. I was impressed. The line about "He is Mordecai's courage" in Esther threw me, though, ‘cause (influenced by the Esther sermon, I'm sure) I don't think of the Book of Esther as being focused on Mordecai.
Introducing some people he thought were amazing, JoeF said that they had been rehearsing when he called one time and put on speakerphone and he was in his basement office and it was like the windows of heaven opening in Malachi -- it wasn't a big enough space to contain it (but this place is big enough to hold it, he said of the sanctuary). I love that his enthusiasm is so genuine. (I wasn't overwhelmed by the people he introduced, though it started with a violin solo and that guy was amazing. He moved to Ireland and sat in with the Ireland Symphony a couple nights a week for something to do and became concert master; I believe it.)
One of the hymns was "Here I Am Lord" (complete with epigraph) which I love. So hard to find online, however. Plain-text lyrics here; image page with midi here.
In Googling I found this sermon, which reminds me that:
Did you hear the text? This is a terrible calling that Isaiah is given: "Go and say to this people: ‘Keep listening, but do not comprehend; keep looking, but do not understand.' Make the mind of this people dull, and stop their ears, and shut their eyes, so that they may not look with their eyes, and listen with their ears, and comprehend with their minds, and turn and be healed." So much for that beloved hymn's promise: "I will break their hearts of stone, give them hearts for love alone." God commands Isaiah to speak in such a way that the people will not understand, will not see, will not hear in case they might turn and be healed. Imagine that - Theological Education Sunday arrives and we hear God's announcement that theological education is intended to shape preachers who will purposely confound the church. This runs so contrary to our understanding of the good news and of the reason for the church and of the nature of God that we find it necessary to stop reading the text. Since we are sure that God cannot possibly send a prophet to intentionally keep the people from turning and receiving healing we feel no shame in silencing God. We simply stop reading at verse eight. By doing so we are assured of being able to leave worship unperturbed by this strange, rude God. Instead, we sing a hymn that promises the kind of God that we prefer, a God who brings healing and wholeness through, guess who, us.