Sunday, October 11, 2009

Sunday Worship

Worship this morning featured the singing of several hymns. Even if accompanied by electric guitars and very loud drums, hymns are a beautiful thing. I love the beauty of the music, the depth of the theology, and, most of all, the focus on worshiping God rather than navel-gazing on how we feel about Him (like the vast majority of praise songs we usually sing). We sang a couple of hymns today which was lovely -- I feel as though I can truly worship God far more easily through the singing of hymns.

So here is one of my favorite hymns. Irish and from the 8th century, this hymn is one of the oldest surviving hymns we sing regularly at Lake Murray. I love just praying the words, and singing them is even better. It's so beautiful, so worshipful:

Be Thou my Vision, O Lord of my heart;
Naught be all else to me, save that Thou art.
Thou my best Thought, by day or by night,
Waking or sleeping, Thy presence my light.

Be Thou my Wisdom, and Thou my true Word;
I ever with Thee and Thou with me, Lord;
Thou my great Father, I Thy true son;
Thou in me dwelling, and I with Thee one.

Be Thou my battle Shield, Sword for the fight;
Be Thou my Dignity, Thou my Delight;
Thou my soul’s Shelter, Thou my high Tower:
Raise Thou me heavenward, O Power of my power.

Riches I heed not, nor man’s empty praise,
Thou mine Inheritance, now and always:
Thou and Thou only, first in my heart,
High King of Heaven, my Treasure Thou art.

High King of Heaven, my victory won,
May I reach Heaven’s joys, O bright Heaven’s Sun!
Heart of my own heart, whatever befall,
Still be my Vision, O Ruler of all.

The third verse above is one I don't know, but the other four I am quite familiar with. My favorite version of this hymn is performed by the group 4Him on their Hymns album, which I had just about worn out before adding it to my iTunes. The Irish flute and bagpipes add so much to the crescendo of the last verse. That's worship!!!

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