Outside of the family farm, my sisters and I had the same first job in our teen years —organist for our local Lutheran church.
This job entailed playing the organ every Sunday as well as mid-week services during certain special times in the Christian calendar.
Aside from forming in us an idea of what truly beautiful sacred music and hymnody is, the Lutheran liturgy that we played and participated in formed the very fiber of the women that we became.
One will never think too highly of oneself when one has repeated weekly, “I, a poor, miserable sinner, confess unto Thee all my sins and iniquities with which I have ever offended Thee.”
Regular singing and playing of “Beautiful Saviour, King of Creation” undoubtedly prevented each of us from looking to a mere mortal man to be the perfect Prince Charming husband or, heaven forbid, to a future political figure to be a savior.
The weekly congregational reciting of the creed: “We believe in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth” built in us a firm belief that there is truth and that it can be held in community.
“For thine is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever and ever, Amen,” the weekly chanting of the conclusion of the Lord’s Prayer, led us to know, in the very core of our being, that there was more to reality than our daily temporal existence.
The “Te Deum Laudamus,” which begins, “We praise Thee, O God; we acknowledge Thee to be the Lord. All the earth doth worship Thee, the Father everlasting,” helped us to look outside of our own provincial sphere.
As we played and sang, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me,” we instinctively knew that we would never fall prey to the false theology that we had now arrived and needed no further Help from above.
All of these truths I still know today.
— Lynette Bernhardt Tedlund