Verse 1: I can hear my Savior calling, I can hear my Savior calling, I can hear my Savior calling, Take thy cross and follow, follow me.
Verse 4: He will give me grace and glory, He will give me grace and glory, He will give me grace and glory, and go with me, with me all the way.
(Song: Where He Leads Me, words by E. W. Blandy and music by John S. Norris, The United Methodist Hymnal, #338.)
On May 28, 2017, The U.S. Marine Corps Band performed an outstanding concert at the World War II Museum here in New Orleans. The music was played so well and from so many different times in our nation’s history. After the concert was over, Mr. Michael Maschmeier held his retirement service there after 20 years of dedicated service. He asked me to give the invocation as his pastor, and I was thrilled to be a part of this special occasion. He had invited the Belle Chasse congregation to come and to hear a song that he had composed that the Marine Corps Band would perform for the very first time. He had never written a song before for the band to play.
When the Band performed, two of his children joined them to play the clarinet and the trumpet. Then Michael shared the meaning of this song that he had written. The title was “Carry On.” He had been so depressed after a tragedy in 2015 where four Marines were killed, one Navy sailor killed, and three others injured in Chattanooga, TN. He wanted to pay tribute to them, and he began to write this musical composition. In it, there is a blend of hymn tunes from his faith, and there was a time in the performance that TAPS was played as well. I picked up the melody from the above hymn in part of the song. I had not thought about that particular hymn in a long time. When we look at the meaning of the hymn, we can reflect on the lives of those that were killed and know that God was with them and that God goes with us all the way in life and in death. Mike reflected that it is the job of the rest of us to respond to tragedies like that one by carrying on. The rest of us who are living must keep on carrying on, doing our best to show love and respect to others, and to serve our country by offering ourselves and our best.
I was inspired by the story of the song that Mike wrote. It was a beautiful tribute and a reminder to all of us not to give up, but to “CARRY ON.”
Grace and peace, Rev. Becky