The Weekly Hymn

I was reminded of a hymn recently that I sang as part of a church choir for Harvest more than 30 years ago. We sung it yesterday, although to a different tune. Even though it’s not that season at the moment, this is a statement of God’s goodness, both in terms of physical and spiritual provision. That is something we can thank him for throughout the year.

Yes, God is good; in earth and sky,
From ocean depths and spreading wood,
Ten thousand voices seem to cry,
“God made us all, and God is good.”

The sun that keeps his trackless way
And downward pours his golden flood,
Night’s sparkling hosts, all seem to say,
In accents clear, that God is good.

The merry birds prolong the strain,
Their song with every spring renewed;
And balmy air, and falling rain,
Each softly whispers, “God is good.”

I hear it in the rushing breeze;
The hills that have for ages stood,
The echoing sky and roaring seas,
All swell the chorus, God is good.

Yes, God is good, all nature says,
By God’s own hand with speech endued;
And man, in louder notes of praise,
Should sing for joy that God is good.

For all Thy gifts we bless Thee, Lord,
But chiefly for our heavenly food;
Thy pardoning grace, Thy quickening word,
These prompt our song, that God is good.

John H Gurney

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The Weekly Hymn

This is a hymn that was popular about a century ago. It is in the “Sankey” style. In other words, a hymn on a Gospel theme with a straightforward melody, simple harmony, not the typical “foursquare” tunes of the previous generations.
The hymn takes us to the heart of the Gospel – Jesus paying the price for sin on the cross, and the glorious reality that we can be forgiven even though we don’t deserve it and can offer nothing. Jesus paid it ALL!

I hear the Saviour say,
“Thy strength indeed is small;
Child of weakness, watch and pray,
Find in Me thine all in all.”

Jesus paid it all,
All to Him I owe;
Sin had left a crimson stain,
He washed it white as snow.

For nothing good have I
Whereby Thy grace to claim,
I’ll wash my garments white
In the blood of Calv’ry’s Lamb.

Lord, now indeed I find
Thy power and Thine alone,
Can change the leper’s spots
And melt the heart of stone.

And when before the throne
I stand in Him complete,
I’ll lay my trophies down
All down at Jesus’ feet.

Elvina M Hall

The Weekly Hymn

Here is a hymn that expresses a desire to praise God with the whole of our lives. I don’t need to say any more, the words speak very clearly.

O for a heart to praise my God,
A heart from sin set free,
A heart that always feels Thy blood
So freely shed for me.

A heart resigned, submissive, meek,
My great Redeemer’s throne,
Where only Christ is heard to speak,
Where Jesus reigns alone.

A humble, lowly, contrite, heart,
Believing, true and clean,
Which neither life nor death can part
From Christ who dwells within.

A heart in every thought renewed
And full of love divine,
Perfect and right and pure and good,
A copy, Lord, of Thine.

Thy nature, gracious Lord, impart;
Come quickly from above;
Write Thy new name upon my heart,
Thy new, best name of Love.

Charles Wesley

The Weekly Hymn

There are many hymns on the faithfulness of God. One of the best of the modern ones is “What a faithful God have I” by Robert Critchley. He takes us through a different aspect of this truth in each verse: In the first verse we are reminded that God is faithful when we come to him in worship and praise – he always wants to hear us. In verse 2, we move to those times when we go through difficulties and trials. Here God can be relied upon to give us shelter if we rely on him. Finally he is also there to help us as we give help and support to others who need it.

Lord, I come before Your throne of grace
I find rest in Your presence,
And fullness of Joy
In worship and wonder,
I behold Your face
Singing what a faithful God have I

What a faithful God have I
What a faithful God
What a faithful God have I
Faithful in every way

Lord of mercy, You have heard my cry
Through the storm You’re the beacon
My song in the night
In the shelter of Your wings
Hear my heart’s reply,
Singing what a faithful God have I

Lord, all sovereign
Granting peace from heaven
Let me comfort those who suffer
With the comfort You have given
I will tell of Your great love
For as long as I live
Singing what a faithful God have I

Robert Critchley

The Weekly Hymn

Here is undoubtedly one of the best modern resurrection hymns, and certainly one of my favourites. Written by Stuart Townend and Keith Getty, “See what a Morning” tells the story of what happened on that first Easter Sunday and explains what it all means:

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,
Honour and blessing, glory and praise
To the King crowned with power 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 & Stuart Townend
Copyright © 2003 Thankyou Music

The Weekly Hymn

I have chosen an older hymn based on the words of Psalm 100. It was attributed to William Kethe in the 16th Century. It is sung to the tune called “Old Hundredth”. Incidentally, the composed Vaughan Williams made a superb arrangement; it is still frequently used.

The words, based on the Psalm are a triumphant declaration of the character of God, and what he has done for us:

All people that on earth do dwell,
Sing to the Lord with cheerful voice.
Him serve with fear, His praise forth tell;
Come ye before Him and rejoice.

The Lord, ye know, is God indeed;
Without our aid He did us make;
We are His folk, He doth us feed,
And for His sheep He doth us take.

O enter then His gates with praise;
Approach with joy His courts unto;
Praise, laud, and bless His Name always,
For it is seemly so to do.

For why? the Lord our God is good;
His mercy is for ever sure;
His truth at all times firmly stood,
And shall from age to age endure.

To Father, Son and Holy Ghost,
The God Whom Heaven and earth adore,
From men and from the angel host
Be praise and glory evermore.

Attr. William Kethe

The Weekly Hymn

Another hymn of anticipation is “Hail to the Lord’s Anointed” by James Montgomery. It reminds us that Jesus was from the line of King David. This once again reinforces the point that he is fully God and yet fully human with a genealogy that can be traced back.

The hymn also is a statement of what Jesus function is, namely to be the King. It is worth pondering as we consider the humility of Christ being born as a baby in lowly circumstances that his destiny is to be the Ruler of all.

Hail to the Lord’s anointed, great David’s greater Son!
Hail in the time appointed, His reign on earth begun!
He comes to break oppression, to set the captive free;
To take away transgression and rule in equity.

He comes in succour speedy to those who suffer wrong;
To help the poor and needy, and bid the weak be strong;
To give them songs for sighing, their darkness turn to light,
Whose souls, condemned and dying, were precious in His sight.

He shall come down like showers upon the fruitful earth;
Love, joy, and hope, like flowers, spring in His path to birth.
Before Him, on the mountains, shall peace, the herald, go,
And righteousness, in fountains, from hill to valley flow.

O’er every foe victorious, He on His throne shall rest;
From age to age more glorious, all blessing and all blest.
The tide of time shall never His covenant remove;
His Name shall stand forever, His Name to us is Love.

James Montgomery