Songs to Celebrate the Resurrection

songs to celebrate the resurrectionI wrote a post a few years ago about “The Perfect Christmas” and how disappointed we are when our celebration doesn’t meet whatever criteria makes it perfect in our estimation. I compared that to the first Christmas, which was so different from ours: a tired couple, a crowded city, no decorations, no Christmas cookies, unexpected unusual visitors. Yet that first Christmas produced our Savior.

I feel the same about Easter this year. For most of us, this Easter is a stripped-down version of our usual celebrations. What’s usually one of the most special services of the year will be on Zoom or YouTube. We probably won’t wear new clothes for it. We’ll have a good dinner and Easter baskets, but without extended family.

Yet, as As Gretchen Ronnevik tweeted, “Maybe huddling together as a small group of disciples in a home, wondering what God is doing, and what will happen next, and where do we go from here… is the most Easter-y of all Easter things to do.” I don’t think there’s anything wrong with the way we celebrate Easter now, but they didn’t have all those things the first Easter. Yet that Easter changed the world and the ones who first heard and told of it. Maybe our circumstances this year will help us refocus our attention on the reality, the miracle, the joy of it all.

Music is one my my main ways of feeding my soul truth. I shared some of my favorite songs about Christ’s death for us a few days ago, and I wanted to share some of my favorite Easter songs today.

For decades now, The Majesty and Glory of the Resurrection CD by Tom Fettke and Billy Ray Hearn has been has been my Easter morning breakfast-making companion. I love using that time to think about what the day means and to prepare my heart for the service. I like the mix of old and new and the majestic way they handle the music. The songs cover the death of Christ as well the big picture of Who God is. I think if you click here, the whole album automatically plays. But the individual tracks are on YouTube, and the album is available on iTunes.

This is one of my favorites from that album, especially “The Strife Is Over” and the second “I Know That My Redeemer Lives.”

This is a medley of four different hymns:

I never heard “The Easter Song” by Annie Herring until I found it on the end of the above medley, and I was struck by the pure joy of it. I’m glad the Eversons recorded the whole thing:

“Weep No More,” to the tune of the folk song, “Down By the Sally Gardens,” is on the Pettit’s CD Higher Ground:

“The One Who Lives Again is a new one by Matt Collier and Matt Taylor of the Wilds Christian Camp (words here):

He Is Risen is also on the Wilds Camp’s “Risen” CD, but I can’t find who wrote it.

“Christ Is Risen, He Is Risen Indeed” by Keith & Kristyn Getty:

Many songs cover both the crucifixion and resurrection. “Mercy Tree,” mentioned last time, is one.

And, of course, there are multitudes more.

I hope you can celebrate the resurrection of Jesus and all it means whether alone in your kitchen, with your family, and/or virtually with your church.

Happy Easter! He is risen!

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Songs About Christ’s Death for Us

IMG_2157?ver2One of the best ways to mediate on what this time of year means is by listening (and maybe singing along to!) Scripturally-based songs about the cross.

The song, “See the Destined Day Arise came up on my phone a few weeks ago, and I made a note to share it around Easter. The day Christ died on the cross was the day destined from before the foundation of the world.

This hymn was originally written by Venantius Fortunatus in 569 and was paraphrased or translated by Richard Mant in 1837. The original lyrics are here. In the past few years it has been reworded a bit and a chorus added by Matt Merker.

See the destined day arise! See a willing sacrifice!
Jesus, to redeem our loss, hangs upon the shameful cross;
Jesus, who but You could bear wrath so great and justice fair?
Every pang and bitter throe, finishing your life of woe?

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Lamb of God for sinners slain!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Jesus Christ, we praise your name!

Who but Christ had dared to drain, steeped in gall, the cup of pain,
And with tender body bear thorns, and nails, and piercing spear?
Slain for us, the water flowed, mingled from your side with blood;
Sign to all attesting eyes of the finished sacrifice.

Holy Jesus, grant us grace in that sacrifice to place
All our trust for life renewed, pardoned sin, and promised good.
Grant us grace to sing your praise, ‘round your throne through endless days,
Ever with the sons of light: “Blessing, honor, glory, might!”

Another favorite about His sacrifice is “It Was For Me” by Dave Bolling (words here).

“What Wondrous Love Is This,” author unknown, words here.

“Face the Cross” by Herb Fromach, words here.

“The Power of the Cross” by Keith Getty and Stuart Townend, words here.

There are old and new versions of “Beneath the Cross of Jesus.” The first one was written in 1868 by Eliz­a­beth C. Cle­phane (words and background here. A few more stanzas than are normally sung today.)

The second was written more recently by Keith and Kristyn Getty, titled just “Beneath the Cross” (words here).

“Mercy Tree” by Krissy Nordhoff and Michael Neale, words here.

Of course, once you start thinking of songs about the cross, too many come to mind to name: “The Old Rugged Cross,” “Jesus Paid It All,” “At Calvary,” “Calvary Covers It All,” “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross,” and so many more.

On Sunday I’ll share favorite songs about the resurrection.

What are some of your favorite songs about the death of Christ for us?

(Sharing with Grace and Truth, Faith on Fire)

An Anxiety Playlist

anxiety playlist

A book I am reading lists a few titles from the author’s playlist at the end of each chapter. I’m not familiar with most of the songs so far. But her playlist sharing gave me an idea.

One of my playlists centers around anxiety and peace. With all that’s happened in the last couple of weeks, music is a welcome respite. However, though any music might take our minds off troubles, music seeped in Scripture helps take our thoughts captive and fills our minds with truth.

So I thought I’d share some of the songs that most help me when I am feeling anxious or even when I just need the reminder that God is in control and will take care of us. Some of these are by the same singers as the ones in my playlist. But I don’t know some of these folks: some of the songs in my phone don’t have a corresponding YouTube video, so I looked for one that sounded the closest to what I have. And I added a few that I don’t have recordings of but sing to myself.

This one is filled with so much good truth:

“Still, My Soul, Be Still” by Keith and Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend, sung by the Pettit Evangelistic Team. You can find the words here. I’m not posting much of the lyrics because I’m not sure what the copyright restrictions are.

This one, “How Can I Fear With Jesus,” was written by Ron Hamilton. I think it was originally written for children for his Patch the Pirate character. But good children’s songs are good for adults too. The words are on the video, but they are also listed here.

This another one written for children but good for everyone: “Peace,” written by Bob Kauflin, sung here by the Galkin Evangelistic Team (words here). This one is special to me because the first time I heard it was the week after our pastor announced he had terminal pancreatic and liver cancer six years ago (he passed away just a few months later.) The children’s choir director didn’t come up with this song after hearing that news: the children had been practicing it for weeks, long before they knew this news was coming. That was a special message of comfort for our folks.

I have three different version of “Be Not Afraid” on my phone. It’s written by Taylor Davis, orchestrated by Dan Forrest. I can’t find the lyrics online, but they’re taken from Isaiah 43:1-7. I’ve always been struck by the fact that this passage doesn’t say if you pass through the water and fire, but when. (There is a similar song by the same name,based on Isaiah 43:1-4, written by Craig Courtney, which I have on the Soundforth Singers CD, Refuge, but I can’t find it on YouTube).

A different song based on the same passage written by Mac Lynch is “Don’t Be Afraid”: the words are underneath the video on YouTube.

This, “Do Not Let Your Heart Be Troubled,” was written by Lloyd Larson. I have it on the Soundforth CD, When Jesus Comes. That rendition isn’t on YouTube, but this is the same arrangement. The lyrics are based on John 14:1.

“I’ll Never Forsake You,” written by David L. Ward, is another deeply meaningful one to me. Words and a bit of background are here.

.

“Jesus, I Am Resting, Resting” is an old beloved hymn by Jean S. Pigott (words here). I love the traditional melody, but I love this newer one, too:

This one, “Rest,” I know little about except that it’s written by by Phill McHugh and Greg Nelson. It’s on my phone sung by the National Christian Choir, but I couldn’t find a video of their version. It’s much like this one, however. I first heard it on afternoon on the radio when I was waking up from a nap and have loved it ever since.

This is an old one: “Simply Trusting” by Edgar P. Stites in 1876, music by Ira Sankey (words and a bit of background here.). This video is instrumental, but includes the written words. The chorus comes to mind often:

Trusting as the moments fly,
Trusting as the days go by;
Trusting Him whate’er befall,
Trusting Jesus, that is all.

Another old but good one: “Tis So Sweet to Trust in Jesus,” written by by Lou­i­sa M. R. Stead in 1882 (words here):

And, of course, an old one that speaks straight to the subject: “All Your Anxiety” by Edward H. Joy (words here).

“Peace, Perfect Peace” by Ed­ward H. Bick­er­steth, Jr., 1875.

Peace, perfect peace, in this dark world of sin?
The blood of Jesus whispers peace within.

Peace, perfect peace, by thronging duties pressed?
To do the will of Jesus, this is rest.

Peace, perfect peace, with sorrows surging round?
On Jesus’ bosom naught but calm is found.

Peace, perfect peace, with loved ones far away?
In Jesus’ keeping we are safe, and they.

Peace, perfect peace, ’mid suffering’s sharpest throes?
The sympathy of Jesus breathes repose.

Peace, perfect peace, our future all unknown?
Jesus we know, and He is on the throne.

Peace, perfect peace, death shadowing us and ours?
Jesus has vanquished death and all its powers.

It is enough: earth’s struggles soon shall cease,
And Jesus call us to Heaven’s perfect peace.

A newer one titled “Perfect Peace” by Joe Zichterman (words are under the video as well on YouTube).

And another newer one, “Hide Away in the Love of Jesus” (also called “Come Weary Soul,” by Steve and Vickie Cook, words here.)

And I think I’ll end with this one, because ultimately it comes down to remembering who God is and trusting Him: “Bow the Knee” by Chris Machen and Mike Harland (words here). (For those of you who know Ron Hamilton’s music, he has a different song by the same title with a little different focus.)

Well, that’s much more music than any of you can listen to in the time you have to visit, I’m sure. But perhaps you found an old or new favorite, and I hope your heart has been encouraged.

Are there any particular songs that help “calm and quiet your soul?”

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What More Can He Say?

What more can He say?

One night as I listened through some hymns on my phone while trying to fall asleep, I heard the familiar hymn, “How Firm a Foundation” from the Bob Jones University Singers’ CD, “God of Mercy.” The first stanza says:

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word.
What more can He say than to you He hath said
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

As I listened to the rest of the song, this particular arrangement by Dan Forrest repeated that phrase, “What more can He say,” in-between the rest of the verses. I either hadn’t noticed before or had forgotten that each stanza is based on specific Scripture texts. That repeated question, “What more can He say,” drove home the message that God’s Word has given us everything we need to know Him and live for Him.

His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire (2 Peter 1:3-4).

Did you catch that? “All things that pertain to life and godliness.” All things. Through the knowledge of Him . . . by His precious and very great promises.

What more can He say, indeed?

People have a tendency to always be on the lookout for something new. That’s not necessarily wrong. We enjoy new clothes, decorations, music. Books have been written on the same subjects for hundreds of years, but we want to read contemporary authors.

Yet when it comes to truth, we don’t need to look for anything new. Oh, we’ll always learn new things from God’s Word. We need frequent reminders of what we’ve already learned from it. We’ll never master it completely til we get to heaven.  And in that case, why do we seek new revelation when we neglect or haven’t mined the depths of what we already have?

Let’s renew our efforts to “look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls” (Jeremiah 6:16). God knows the end from the beginning. He knew thousands of years ago what we would need today.

_____________________________________________

Just for fun, I thought I’d share some of the passages that the verses of “How Firm a Foundation” are based on. The song was published in 1787 in a collection put together by John Rippon, but the author is only referred to as “K” according to Wikipedia. I wish I knew how to put this into a side-by-side chart, but this will have to do.

How firm a foundation, ye saints of the Lord,
Is laid for your faith in His excellent Word!
What more can He say than to you He hath said,
To you who for refuge to Jesus have fled?

Everyone then who hears these words of mine and does them will be like a wise man who built his house on the rock. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house, but it did not fall, because it had been founded on the rock. And everyone who hears these words of mine and does not do them will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand. And the rain fell, and the floods came, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell, and great was the fall of it (Matthew 7:24-27).

Forever, O Lord, your word is firmly fixed in the heavens (Psalm 119:89).

“Fear not, I am with thee, oh be not dismayed;
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen thee, help thee, and cause thee to stand,
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand.”

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand (Isaiah 41:10).

When through the deep waters I call thee to go,
The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow;
For I will be with thee, thy troubles to bless,
And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.

When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and through the rivers, they shall not overwhelm you; when you walk through fire you shall not be burned, and the flame shall not consume you (Isaiah 43:2).

When through fiery trials thy pathways shall lie,
My grace all sufficient shall be thy supply;
The flame shall not hurt thee; I only design
Thy dross to consume and thy gold to refine.

In this you rejoice, though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been grieved by various trials, so that the tested genuineness of your faith—more precious than gold that perishes though it is tested by fire—may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Peter 1:6-7).

And I will put this third into the fire, and refine them as one refines silver, and test them as gold is tested. They will call upon my name, and I will answer them. I will say, ‘They are my people’; and they will say, “The Lord is my God” (Zechariah 13:9).

But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Corinthians 12:10).

The soul that on Jesus has leaned for repose,
I will not, I will not desert to its foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I’ll never, no never, no never forsake.

Be content with what you have, for he has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” So we can confidently say,  “The Lord is my helper; I will not fear; what can man do to me?” (Hebrews 13:5b-6)

 Be strong and courageous. Do not fear or be in dread of them, for it is the Lord your God who goes with you. He will not leave you or forsake you (Deuteronomy 31:6).

There are more passages that reflect these truths, but these are the ones that seem to most fit the wording. There are a couple of other stanzas added later by the Mormon church, but I want to stick with “K’s” original writing.

I couldn’t find a video or clip of this beautiful arrangement from the CD I mentioned in the first paragraph. But I did find this video of another choir singing it. You can’t see much, but they do a beautiful job. And you can hear the repeated “What more can He say?”

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More songs about God’s way

When I wrote about wanting my own way yesterday, the old hymn, “Have Thine Own Way,” seemed a fitting ending. But the last day or two that I was working on my rough draft, other songs on the topic drifted to mind. Here are a few:

Let Him Have His Way With Thee” by Cyrus S. Nusbaum is one we used to sing often, but I haven’t heard it in a while. The chorus goes:

His pow’r can make you what you ought to be;
His blood can cleanse your heart and make you free;
His love can fill your soul, and you will see
’Twas best for Him to have His way with thee.

I have not heard these two in years.

Thy Way, Not Mine

Thy way, not mine, O Lord,
however dark it be;
lead me by thine own hand,
choose out the path for me.

Smooth let it be or rough,
it will be still the best;
winding or straight, it leads
right onward to thy rest.

I dare not choose my lot;
I would not if I might:
choose thou for me, my God,
so shall I walk aright.

The kingdom that I seek
is thine, so let the way
that leads to it be thine,
else I must surely stray.

Take thou my cup, and it
with joy or sorrow fill,
as best to thee may seem;
choose thou my good and ill.

Choose thou for me my friends,
my sickness or my health;
choose thou my cares for me,
my poverty or wealth.

Not mine, not mine, the choice
in things or great or small;
be thou my guide, my strength,
my wisdom, and my all.

~ Horatio Bonar, 1857

In looking for this song on YouTube, I found it to several tunes I had never heard before. I don’t know these folks, but this is the melody I am familiar with.

Submission

The path that I have trod,
Has brought me nearer God,
Though oft it led through sorrow’s gates .
Though not the way I choose,
In my way I might lose
The joy that yet for me awaits.

(Refrain)
Not what I wish to be,
Nor where I wish to go,
For who am I that I should choose my way?
The Lord shall choose for me,
‘Tis better far, I know,
So let him bid me go, or stay.

The cross that I must bear,
If I a crown would wear,
Is not the cross that I should take;
But since on me ’tis laid,
I’ll take it unafraid,
And bear it for the Master’s sake.

Submission to the will
Of him who guides me still
Is surety of His love revealed;
My soul shall rise above
This world in which I move,
I conquer only when I yield.

~ Charles Austin Miles (1868-1946)

I especially love the last line. Again, I don’t know this singer, but this is the melody I know for this song:

His Way Is Perfect” by Betsy Kistler is newer (1997). We used to sing this often in choir, and I heard it numerous times as solos. I always wished I knew the story behind it. It’s cast a bit sadder than the others, but that’s often when we most need to reassurance, as the last line repeats, that His way is best.

Scripture-soaked hymns and songs help us meditate on truths of God’s Word. May these be a blessing to you.

Are you familiar with these? Are there other songs that encourage you to yield to God’s will?

 

Why should we sing?

I don’t go looking for posts about congregational singing, but a couple of blogs I follow comment on or link to blog posts on the topic fairly often.

The prevailing consensus is that congregational singing is declining. I have not noticed that myself, but apparently others have.

Naturally, people want to find the problem and fix it. A number of possible reasons for this decline have been proposed.

Some say that the congregation doesn’t sing as well since the advent of worship teams. Some blame this on the atmosphere seeming more like a concert than a church service. Others point blame at the number of instruments on stage, the loudness of the music, the singing of new songs that no one knows, the difficulty of some of those songs for a congregation to sing. Some have blamed the professionalism or the commitment to excellence of the musicians, because that makes us “average Joes” feel like we don’t measure up. Sadly, many churches are eliminating performed music (what we use to call “special music”) for these reasons. The most recent article I saw said the problem started way back even before the worship team advent, when churches had choirs that “drowned out” the congregation.

My own experience is limited, of course. We’ve only visited one church where I truly felt like the stage and musicians were set up for a concert rather than congregational singing. This church had a choir and a worship team, multicolored lighting, a stage covered with instruments. I don’t think any of that would have been insurmountable, though. The one main problem was that the songleader or worship leader never told us as a congregation when to join in or invited us to sing along. As we looked around to see whether others were singing, we noticed that some were and some were not. So we didn’t know quite what to do.

Most of my church experiences have involved one songleader on stage with a choir behind him, sometimes with musicians on stage or nearby, sometimes not. The choir helps keep the pace and provide the melody for those who might not know a song. I have never been in a church where the choir “drowned out” the congregational singing.

I have been in two churches where the songleader was an actual professional in the sense of having a PhD not just in music, but in voice. In both of those churches, the singing was robust. No one seemed to be intimidated by the professionalism of the leader and others in the choir and church. Ordinary, untrained people sang special music as well as the trained ones. So I don’t think professionalism in and of itself is a factor, or at least it shouldn’t be.

There is one factor, however, that overrides any problems with congregational singing: the fact that the Bible tells us we’re supposed to sing.

Make a joyful noise to the Lord, all the earth! Serve the Lord with gladness! Come into his presence with singing! Psalm 100:1-2, ESV

Be filled with the Spirit, addressing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing and making melody to the Lord with your heart. Ephesians 5:18b-19, ESV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16, ESV

We shouldn’t use these verses as clubs to beat people over the head with their responsibility, but we should encourage each other to obey God in this respect. Some have tried to encourage thinking about the songs we sing by almost preaching a small sermon between songs, sharing long Puritan readings, etc. There might be a time for that kind of thing, but usually I find that, rather than encouraging singing, it takes away from it. People get weary mentally and their minds wander (or even physically, if they’re made to stand through all of that).

I’ve long wanted to do a study of music in the Bible. I notice that in many of the psalms, singing is associated with thanksgiving. The passages above speak of singing as an outgrowth of being filled with the Spirit of God and the Word of God. Could it be that poor congregational singing is a symptom of a lack in these areas, rather than a problem in itself?

One of my soapbox issues is that our responsibility to do right before God should not depend on other people or circumstances. I can’t stand before God and blame other people for my sin. They are responsible for their influence, and they’ll have to answer for their failures and temptations. But God has promised each of His children that, “No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it” (1 Corinthians 10:13). That is true not just for avoiding sin and resisting temptation, but also for doing right. I should do the right thing whether the circumstances are conducive or not, whether anyone else is doing so or not.

Sure, it’s good to study what helps and hinders good congregational singing. But we as a congregation need to realize that whether the song is too old or too new, too high or too low, too fast or too slow, too soft or too loud, whether there is one musician or many, whether others sing better or worse or not at all, we need to sing as unto the Lord. He is worthy of our praise. Let’s overlook the petty hindrances to our comfort level and think about His greatness and goodness and all He has done for us. It will be hard to hold back from singing then!

The Lord is my strength and my shield;
My heart trusted in Him, and I am helped;
Therefore my heart greatly rejoices,
And with my song I will praise Him.
Psalm 28:7, NKJV

The Lord is my strength and my song;
    he has become my salvation.
Glad songs of salvation
    are in the tents of the righteous.
Psalm 118:14-15a, ESV

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Happy Easter!

See, what a morning, gloriously bright,
With the dawning of hope in Jerusalem;
Folded the grave-clothes, tomb filled with light,
As the angels announce, “Christ is risen!”
See God’s salvation plan,
Wrought in love, borne in pain, paid in sacrifice,
Fulfilled in Christ, the Man,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

See Mary weeping, “Where is He laid?”
As in sorrow she turns from the empty tomb;
Hears a voice speaking, calling her name;
It’s the Master, the Lord raised to life again!
The voice that spans the years,
Speaking life, stirring hope, bringing peace to us,
Will sound till He appears,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

One with the Father, Ancient of Days,
Through the Spirit who clothes faith with certainty.
Honor and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned with pow’r and authority!
And we are raised with Him,
Death is dead, love has won, Christ has conquered;
And we shall reign with Him,
For He lives: Christ is risen from the dead!

– Keith Getty and Stuart Townend

See the Destined Day Arise

I shared this hymn a couple of years ago, but it is on my mind this season as we particularly remember in gratefulness Christ’s death on the cross for us. This hymn was originally written by Venantius Fortunatus in 569 and was paraphrased or translated by Richard Mant in 1837. The original lyrics are here. In the past few years it has been reworded a bit and a chorus added by Matt Merker.

See the destined day arise! See a willing sacrifice!
Jesus, to redeem our loss, hangs upon the shameful cross;
Jesus, who but You could bear wrath so great and justice fair?
Every pang and bitter throe, finishing your life of woe?

Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Lamb of God for sinners slain!
Hallelujah! Hallelujah! Jesus Christ, we praise your name!

Who but Christ had dared to drain, steeped in gall, the cup of pain,
And with tender body bear thorns, and nails, and piercing spear?
Slain for us, the water flowed, mingled from your side with blood;
Sign to all attesting eyes of the finished sacrifice.

Holy Jesus, grant us grace in that sacrifice to place
All our trust for life renewed, pardoned sin, and promised good.
Grant us grace to sing your praise, ‘round your throne through endless days,
Ever with the sons of light: “Blessing, honor, glory, might!”

O God Beyond All Praising

I usually set an album on my phone to play as I fall asleep, and lately it’s been Beyond All Praising by the BJU Singers and Orchestra. The title comes from the last song, “O God Beyond All Praising.” This song is one of a few that leads me to almost instant worship, both the words and the majestic melody. A bit about the history of the hymn is here. A second verse written later is included here.

O God beyond all praising,
We worship you today
And sing the love amazing
That songs cannot repay;
For we can only wonder
At every gift you send,
At blessings without number
And mercies without end:
We lift our hearts before you
And wait upon your word,
We honour and adore you,
Our great and mighty Lord.

Then hear, O gracious Saviour,
Accept the love we bring,
That we who know your favour
May serve you as our king;
And whether our tomorrows
Be filled with good or ill,
We’II triumph through our sorrows
And rise to bless you still:
To marvel at your beauty
And glory in your ways,
And make a joyful duty
Our sacrifice of praise.

~ Michael Perry (1942 – 1996)

The same song sung by the Herbster family, in which the words are a little easier to understand:

Lord of the Small Things

I have listened to the CD this song is on before, but heard it this morning for the first time in a long time, and it spoke to my heart:

Praise to the Lord of the small broken things,
who sees the poor sparrow that cannot take wing.
who loves the lame child and the wretch in the street
who comforts their sorrows and washes their feet.

Praise to the Lord of the faint and afraid
who girds them with courage and lends them His aid,
He pours out his spirit on vessels so weak,
that the timid can serve and the silent can speak.

Praise to the Lord of the frail and the ill
who heals their afflictions or carries them till,
they leave this tired frame and to paradise fly.
to never be sick and never to die.

Praise him, O praise Him all ye who live
who’ve been given so much and can so little give
our frail lisping praise God will never despise-
He sees His dear children through mercy-filled eyes.

Words: Johanna Anderson

Music: Dan Forrest

(Sharing with Literary Musing Monday)