I Think This Will Sooth Your Soul Today. . .

I woke up this morning to a text message from my buddy Rich Van Pelt. It was a link to a YouTube video (embedded below). I went there to watch and listen. . . and was greatly blessed. Rich had linked to Bob Kauflin’s (Sovereign Grace and GLAD) just-recorded duet with his daughter of the Michael Kelly Blanchard tune/anthem, “Be Ye Glad.” For such a time as this (lyrics below). . .

In these days of confused situations
In these nights of a restless remorse
When the heart and soul of a nation
Lay wounded and cold as a corpse
From the grave of the innocent Adam
Comes a song bringing joy to the sad
Oh, your cry has been heard and the ransom
Has been paid up in full, be ye glad

Oh, be ye glad
Oh, be ye glad
Every debt that you ever had
Has been paid up in full by the grace of the Lord
Be ye glad, be ye glad, be ye glad

Now from your dungeon, a rumor is stirring
Though you have heard it again and again
Ah, but this time the cell keys are turning
And outside there are faces of friends
And though your body lay weary from wasting
And your eyes show the sorrow they’ve had
Ah, the love that your heart is now tasting
Has opened the gates, be ye glad

So be like lights on the rim of the water
Giving hope in a storm sea of night
Be a refuge amidst the slaughter
Of these fugitives in their flight
For you are timeless and part of a puzzle
You are winsome and young as a lad
And there is no disease or no struggle
That can pull you from God, be ye glad

This song has resonated with me since the 1980s and there’s a history that makes it very personal for me. It’s a fun story for me to remember and tell. . . Back in the Spring of 1978, when I was a senior at Geneva College, Michael Kelly Blanchard came to give a series of concerts on campus. I was asked to host him during his visit, so we spent a couple of days together. He was delightful and his music hit me in the gut with great truths. Blanchard is an amazing truth-teller and story-teller. When I left campus, we stayed connected and I had him come and perform over the years in the variety of places where I was privileged to minister. In the fall of 1981, when I was doing youth ministry in Miami, he came down to perform there and stayed with me. As he was leaving, I mentioned that it was a shame that he had to go as the group GLAD (from my old stomping grounds outside of Philly) was headed down to give a series of concerts for Youth For Christ starting that night and he might enjoy hearing them. His eyes widened and he reached into his bag, pulled out an envelope containing a demo cassette, and handed it to me. He asked if I would hand it over to the guys in GLAD. . . . and so I did. It was a recording of his song “Be Ye Glad” that the band had been expecting at some point as they had already been in touch. And so, I delivered the cassette to Bob Kauflin and his bandmates on their old tour bus.

Over the years, the tune has circled back to me so many times as an anthem of the hope we have in Christ. This version is especially beautiful on this morning when we wake up and wonder. . .

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