They’re Playing Our Song

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Several months ago, I attended the weeknight classes at the local kingdom hall. One of the songs that the congregation sang together was “A Special Possession,” song number 147. It’s not in Sing to Jehovah, because it’s one of the “new songs” that (I’m assuming) will be in the next revision of the songbook. Here are the words to the song (which you can also download at jw.org):

Verse 1:

God has a new creation, His spirit anointed sons.

He has bought them from mankind; His approval they’ve won. 

Chorus:

A special possession, They’re a people for your name.

They love you. They praise you. As one they declare abroad your fame.

Verse 2:

They are a holy nation, who handle the truth aright.

God has called them from darkness to his wonderful light.

Verse 3:

Faithful to their commission, they gather the other sheep.

To the Lamb they are loyal. His commandments they keep.

As the congregation began to sing this, I was appalled. How bizarre is it to sing about Gods people in the third person? “They love you, they praise you.” What are the members of the great crowd, chopped liver? If we’re part of the great crowd, can we not praise and love Jehovah? Why can’t we sing these words to Jehovah?

Well, that is just what I did. Usually I don’t sing along with the congregational songs. I just can’t do it, usually because I don’t agree with what the words say, and even when I occasionally agree with part of a song, the music is so dreary that I just can’t bring myself to join in. And singing the song would feel like a tacit endorsement on my part of what’s being taught in the songs and in the talks. So I usually stand quietly and politely during the singing. But this time I sang along with the song, but with a difference. Everywhere that the lyrics said “they” or similar, I substituted in the word “we”. So I sang “We love you, we praise you,” etc. And I did so loud enough that those around me heard.

Several nearby members of the congregation looked at me quizzically, but that’s all the reaction I got. I was hoping someone would ask me about it after the lessons, but they seemingly forgot about it. I prayed that they would remember the weird guy who sang the songs funny, and that it would bother them enough for them to look at the lyrics again and consider the truth of what I was singing. I may never know in this life if and how it affected anyone. But it was, I believe, a Holy Spirit directed action on my part.

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