Bishop Jack L. Bomar’s Bible Study Blog Sunday, February 28, 2021
Atlanta, Georgia USA – “Lift every voice and sing
Till earth and heaven ring.
Ring with the harmonies of Liberty.
Let our rejoicing rise
High as the listening skies
Let it resound loud as the rolling sea.
Sing a song full of the faith that the dark past has taught us;
Sing a song full of the hope that the present has brought us;
Facing the rising sun of our new day begun;
Let us march on till victory is won.” https://blackthen.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/weldon….jpg
When the original words of ‘Lift Every Voice and Sing” was penned by James Weldon Johnson in 1899, it was a poem in honor of President Abraham Lincoln’s birthday. President Lincoln’s memorial birthday on Feb. 12, 1900 was marked by 500 black children at a segregated Florida school reciting the words by Johnson, a poet, writer, civil rights activist and educator. Shortly after that historic date, Johnson’s brother, J. Rosamond Johnson, wrote the lyrics to the words and the song that is widely known as the “Negro National Anthem.”
Bishop Jack recalled how the song’s author said that he “made no efforts” to hold back the tears that the words and music stirred inside of him. The song also known as the Negro National Anthem, was described as one where “the song wrote itself.”
James Weldon Johnson, right; John Rosamond Johnson, at the piano, circa 1937 https://onlineexhibits.library.yale.edu/s/lift-every-voice/media/7538
Today, U.S. Rep. James Clyburn (D-South Carolina) is seeking Congressional approval for “Lift Every Voice and Sing” to become the nation’s hymn to help unite humanity. https://news.yahoo.com/clyburn-explains-push-lift-every-200810051.html
“There is a lot of power in the message,” said Bishop Jack, adding that the Johnson brothers’ song and lyrics are a perfect example of songs that reach our “soul level.”
Drawing from the Bible scripture Acts 16:20 – 26, Bishop Jack recalled how Paul and Silas were brought before the town’s magistrate judges and accused of falsehoods after they were sharing the truth of God’s word and helping people. They were beaten and thrown into the basement of the prison with their legs cuffed to the bars. About midnight, they were praying and singing hymns unto God. Their singing was heard throughout the prison and their song praises unto God were interrupted by a violent earthquake that caused the doors to fly open. All chains on prisoners were loosed and the prisioners went free.
For the “midnight hours” in everyone’s lives, remember Paul and Silas and sing songs of faith and praise until God, extoled Bishop Jack.
Bishop Jack spoke of his special songs. He also asked the congregation in the cyber sanctuary of Hillside International Truth Center they too had spiritual songs that “touch the soul … calms the fears and anchors” them.
He spoke of those songs sung during the times folk “go through the go through.” Bishop reminded listeners and viewers that the Hillside Praize Team sings powerful songs of praise and joy to uplift, remind and encourage congregants.
What is one of Bishop Jack’s favorite songs of Zion? The Bishop and musician sang his answer a capella:
Bishop Jack spoke of three (3) impacts of songs upon hearts and souls:
- Singing your song has the power to soothe the soul. Singing soothes the nervous system.
- Singing your song stirs up the spirit. Sing in the morning. Sing because you’re happy, sing because you’re free.
- Singing your song sets you free.
And so it is.
Bishop’s Bible Study: Sharing your Song
- Paul and Silas sang songs of truth that set them free. What songs would you sing if you were like them during those “go through” times as described by Bishop Jack? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
- Do you have a favorite song that has been performed by the Hillside Praize Team? __________________________________________.
- Do you have words of praise and gratitude about any particular victory? Would you turn those words into your heart song by penning a few lines below? __________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
- How does “Lift Every Voice and Sing” resonate with you? What is your favorite phrase, stanza, or single words? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
- In honor of Black History Month, which Black inventors are named by Bishop Jack in his sermon? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
- Bishop Jack offered a descriptive of an experience he had while in Australia. Why do the Australian Aborigines remind their young people of their history during deliberate “walkabouts” throughout key regions in their country? ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________.
Wade in the water … god’s gonna trouble the water
Walk with me … while I;m on this pilgrim journey