Songs That Jesus Said: Scripture into Music by Keith and Kristyn Getty.; CD and songbook available.

Keith and Kristyn Getty are Irish musicians who first collaborated on songs for the African Children’s Choir in 1999. Keith is cowriter (with Stuart Townend) of such great modern hymns as “In Christ Alone” and “The Power of the Cross” (see pp. 14 and 16; see also RW 71).

Songs That Jesus Said represents the Gettys’ creation of materials that encourage young children to sing the stories of Jesus, internalizing the truths of Scripture. The twenty songs in this collection represent a variety of pleasing and accessible musical styles—pop, jazz, ballad, folk, Calypso, sea chantey, and more. Many of the selections have fun and helpful motions that reinforce the meaning of the biblical stories. The songbook includes basic piano scores (complete with guitar chords) and a fully produced accompaniment CD.

Each song is linked with a specific New Testament passage. There are four songs about “Meeting Jesus,” and four songs each about “Things That Jesus Taught,” “Friends That Jesus Had” (including Little Zac), “Following Jesus,” and “Jesus’ Big Plan.” The texts not only depict the stories of the Savior, but also allow for appropriate response from young disciples: “I’m Ready to Go” (Matt. 28:18-20), and “You Are My Shepherd” (John 10:3-5).

As those who choose and lead music for children in the church and the home, we should be encouraged to put the stories of Scripture—the truths of God—on their lips and in their hearts. This is contemporary children’s music at its best.

For more information on the music ministry of Keith and Kristyn Getty, visit Kristyn Getty has presented these songs in the form of a lecture/demonstration that can be accessed at

—Reviewed by Carl Stam, director of the Institute for Christian Worship, Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, Louisville, Kentucky.

Revised Common Lectionary Daily Readings: Consultation on the Common Texts. Minneapolis: Augsburg Fortress, 2005.

When the Common Lectionary was published in 1983, Horace Allen wrote, “. . . all Sunday lectionaries in the history of the church have assumed the existence of at least one other lectionary: a daily set of readings.” In the Reformed tradition daily Bible readings in homes maintained this balance.

Typically these “lectionaries” relate different scriptural narratives. One is structured by the church year, using scriptural selections to tell the story of Christ’s coming. The other conveys the biblical narrative, from Genesis to Revelation, of the history of salvation. As versions of the same story, these two narratives stand in fruitful tension.

The Revised Common Lectionary (RCL) stood bereft of a companion daily lectionary for fourteen years. Then in 1997 Gail Ramshaw published Between Sundays: Daily Bible Readings based on the Revised Common Lectionary. Building and expanding upon her work, the Consultation on Common Texts now offers Daily Readings intended primarily for private devotion or public daily prayer.

As a daily lectionary, Daily Readings takes the whole Bible into account. While it does not include every verse of the Bible, “the selections represent the narrative portions, the psalms, the prophets, the gospels, and the letters almost completely, with a more selective approach applied to other genres of biblical content” (p. 7).

Atypically Daily Readings organizes these passages liturgically. It builds the readings for each week around the Sunday selections, with preparation on Thursday through Saturday and reflection on Monday through Wednesday. Each day has a selection from the Old Testament, the New Testament, and a psalm. Sacrificing variety to theme, the same psalm is chosen for every day in each triduum of preparation or reflection.

Following the pattern set by RCL, Daily Readings offers two sets of readings after Pentecost. One relates scriptural passages in a complementary fashion (a more felicitous term than “typological”); the other builds on the semi-continuous reading of Old Testament texts.

This handsome book inspires admiration. Its layout for each week reflects Sunday’s centrality and clearly relates the weekday texts to its readings. A detailed biblical index adds a useful aid.

However, Daily Readings lessens the tension between calendar and canon. Not only is it organized around the Sunday readings, but also its daily selections rank theme over canon. While accomplishing its professed end in an elegant manner, Daily Readings obscures the biblical narrative of God’s redeeming work from the beginning of time to the end of history.

—Reviewed by Fritz West (, pastor of St. John’s United Church of Christ, Fountain City, Wisconsin, and liturgical writer and author of Scripture and Memory—the Ecumenical Hermeneutic of the Three-Year Lectionary (The Liturgical Press, 1997).

Carl Stam ( is the director of the Institute for Christian Worship at Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and the part-time minister of music at Louisville’s Clifton Baptist Church. Since 1995, he has distributed a weekly e-mail devotional on worship and prayer, Worship Quote of the Week (


Fritz West ( is pastor of St. John's United Church of Christ, Fountain City, Wisconsin, and liturgical writer and author of Scripture and Memory--the Ecumenical Hermeneutic of the Three-Year Lectionary (The Liturgical Press, 1997).


Reformed Worship 81 © September 2006 Worship Ministries of the Christian Reformed Church. Used by permission.