Each morning, PCA students gather for assembly. Walk into the school building around 8:15 a.m., turn in to the youth room where the assembly meets, and you will hear a chorus of children’s voices singing out a joyful noise to the Lord (Psalm 100). During this time, the entire school comes together to wake up, enter the day, and set their hearts right before the Lord for the day of work and learning ahead. After the headmaster, Mr. Bailey, welcomes the group, they stand for worship. Herein lies one of the unique advantages of Pinnacle Classical – the students aren’t only learning material in the classroom, but are exposed to and learning new songs and hymns in order to glorify God. We hope these songs sung together serve two purposes. One, that they might unite those within the school, setting everyone’s hearts and minds on God. Two, that the words sung would stay with the children as they grow. The ease of learning concepts that are put to music allows for the words to take root and develop meaning to the individual who knows the words and meditates on them- even as Psalm 1 speaks to this discipline: “…his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on his law he meditates day and night.”
Recently, the song ringing out at PCA has been Luther’s A Mighty Fortress is Our God. And what an excellent hymn to usher us into awe before the Lord! Taking time to understand the meaning of what is being sung, we can see the richness of these words and help the children apply them. What does it mean for God to be a mighty fortress? Perhaps point to Proverbs 18:10, “The name of the LORD is a strong tower; the righteous man runs into it and is safe.” God is the Christian’s defense against all ailments in this life, and what an excellent thing for the children to know in times of trouble. Not only does this song offer the Christian comfort in the character of God, but also hope in the Gospel; if we confide in our own strength, all striving would amount to nothing. But praise God the Right Man is on our side for our salvation, for the victory, for the gifts of grace!
With Thanksgiving swiftly approaching, many are making an inventory of items for thankfulness. Dwelling on the lyrics to this hymn for a moment, I’m thankful for a few more things: the gift of penmanship given to Luther for writing such stirring, true words; the sound of children’s voices worshiping; music for glorifying God; a God who is a mighty fortress, a helper, and victorious Lord; and a school where there is freedom for children and adults to sing to the King.
“A Mighty Fortress is Our God”
A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
Our helper He, amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing:
For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
His craft and power are great, and, armed with cruel hate,
On earth is not his equal.
Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing;
Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing:
Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is He;
Lord Sabaoth, His Name, from age to age the same,
And He must win the battle.
And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
We will not fear, for God hath willed His truth to triumph through us:
The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
His rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure,
One little word shall fell him.
That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
The Spirit and the gifts are ours through Him Who with us sideth:
Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
The body they may kill: God’s truth abideth still,
His kingdom is forever