Old Hundredth

Of the 23 years of Christian radio programming I did, one of the favorite programs that sticks out in my mind was the interview I conducted with one of the editors of the Trinity Psalter, a book of metrical Psalms with accompanying CD’s by the Scottish Festival Choir.

The history of Psalm singing obviously goes thousands of years back in history, but Psalm singing was also a significant part of Christian worship until the 20th century did its damage. The singing of metrical Psalms has been an historic part of Reformed worship, while Lutheran worship tends to use Psalm chant in the liturgy. Whatever the musical settings, Psalm singing incorporates the inspired Word of God into public worship.

Younger generations are often clueless about hymn singing, many believing that gospel songs are actually hymns, and even those are fading in favor of contemporary choruses, or in the worst cases, secular rock songs. (I’m not kidding about that.) But if hymns are now largely unknown to large swathes of the Protestant world, Psalm singing is even less familiar. Old Hundredth, as it was called, used to be a staple in Christian worship, shortened to what some call the Doxology, and then largely forgotten.

I came across this gorgeous rendition of Old Hundredth (the metrical form of Psalm 100.) The music may be at Westminster Abbey in this particular clip, but as one musician put it at a Psalm workshop I attended, metrical Psalms can be sung with a simple piano or guitar, and Old Hundredth certainly used to be sung out in humble little churches as well as big churches all over the West.

Here are the words from the Psalter, sung by those whose trust is in the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. The Psalm is ended, as always, with a metrical form of the ancient Greek words of the Gloria Patri.

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.

Amen.

A Father’s Love

crucifiedAgain, the Cross, illumined by the Holy Face of Jesus, is where every brokenness, injury, and wound encounters the compassion of the Father. We are called not so much to embrace the Cross as to allow ourselves to be embraced by it, for the arms of the Cross are the strong arms of the Eternal Father’s compassion. When the Holy Ghost begins to work in a soul, that soul is compelled to fix her eyes upon the Face of Jesus, and to throw herself into the arms of the Cross because there, and there alone, is she held secure in the embrace of the Father’s merciful love. The Cross of the Son shines with the love of the Father reflected on the Face of the Son; therein is the remedy for every misery, shadow, weakness, betrayal, and fear.  ~ Mark Kirby

All Hail the Power of Jesus Name!

This is one of my favorite hymns of all. This is a wonderful rendition with the brass and timpani adding the appropriate regal sound. Love the congregational singing. Some day all believers will stand around the throne of the Lamb and sing together! What a day that will be.

1.All hail the power of Jesus’ name!
Let angels prostrate fall;
bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all.
Bring forth the royal diadem,
and crown him Lord of all.

2. Ye chosen seed of Israel’s race,
ye ransomed from the fall,
hail him who saves you by his grace,
and crown him Lord of all.
Hail him who saves you by his grace,
and crown him Lord of all.

3. Let every kindred, every tribe
on this terrestrial ball,
to him all majesty ascribe,
and crown him Lord of all.
To him all majesty ascribe,
and crown him Lord of all.

4. O that with yonder sacred throng
we at his feet may fall!
We’ll join the everlasting song,
and crown him Lord of all.
We’ll join the everlasting song,
and crown him Lord of all!

“Paschal Lamb, Thine Offering Finished…”

Lord, enthroned in heavenly splendor,
First begotten from the dead,
Thou alone, our strong Defender,
Liftest up Thy people’s head.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Jesu, true and living Bread!

Here our humblest homage pay we,
Here in loving reverence bow;
Here for faith’s discernment pray we,
Lest we fail to know Thee now.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
You are here, we ask not how.

Paschal Lamb, Thine offering, finished
Once for all when Thou wast slain,
In its fullness undiminished
Shall forevermore remain.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Cleansing souls from every stain.

Life imparting heavenly Manna,
Smitten Rock with streaming side,
Heaven and earth with loud hosanna
Worship Thee, the Lamb Who died.
Alleluia! Alleluia!
Risen, ascended, glorified!

 

O Morning Star How Fair and Bright!

Can’t help myself this morning. Today is Epiphany Sunday when we remember the wise men who saw that brilliant star and came to worship at the feet of the young Lord Jesus Christ.

Normally, Tom plays this hymn with the choir on Epiphany, but we’ve had illness here at home and so we are having church here. These words are so very beautiful and clear in doctrine. I wanted to share this with you, as well as a trumpeter playing it. These lyrics express our faith and lift our hearts, wherever we may be this Sunday.

“O Morning Star, how fair and bright!
You shine with God’s own truth and light,
Aglow with grace and mercy!
Of Jacob’s race, King David’s son,
Our Lord and master, You have won
Our hearts to serve You only!
Lowly, holy!
Great and glorious,
All victorious,
Rich in blessing!
Rule and might o’er all possessing!

“Come, heavenly Bridegroom, Light divine,
and deep within our hearts now shine;
There light a flame undying!
In Your one body let us be
As living branches of a tree,
Your life our lives supplying.
Now, though daily
Earth’s deep sadness
May perplex us
And distress us,
Yet with heavenly joy You bless us.

“Lord, when You look on us in love,
At once there falls from God above
A ray of purest pleasure.
Your Word and Spirit, flesh and blood
Refresh our souls with heavenly food.
You are our dearest treasure!
Let Your mercy
Warm and cheer us!
O draw near us!
For You teach us
God’s own love through You has reached us.

“Almighty Father, in Your Son
You loved us when not yet begun
Was this old earth’s foundation!
Your Son has ransomed us in love
To live in Him here and above;
This is Your great salvation.
Alleluia!
Christ the living,
To us giving
Life forever,
Keeps us Yours and fails us never!

“O let the harps break forth in sound!
Our joy be all with music crowned,
Our voices gladly blending!
For Christ goes with us all the way—
Today, tomorrow, every day!
His love is never ending!
Sing out! Ring out!
Jubilation!
Exultation!
Tell the story!
Great is He, the King of Glory!

“What joy to know, when life is past,
The Lord we love is first and last,
The end and the beginning!
He will one day, oh, glorious grace,
Transport us to that happy place
Beyond all tears and sinning!
Amen! Amen!
Come, Lord Jesus!
Crown of gladness!
We are yearning
For the day of Your returning!”

— Lutheran Service Book,
“O Morning Star, How Fair and Bright,” 395:1-6.

What Think Ye of Christ? By J.C. Ryle

Saying, What think ye of Christ? whose son is he? They say unto him, the son of David. — Matthew 22:42

__________________________

By J. C. Ryle
(1816-1900)

First published by Drummond’s Tract Depot, Stirling, Scotland

manger2Christmas is a season which almost all Christians observe in one way or another. Some keep it as a religious season. Some keep it as a holiday. But all over the world, wherever there are Christians, in one way or another Christmas is kept.

Perhaps there is no country in which Christmas is so much observed as it is in England. Christmas holidays, Christmas parties, Christmas family-gatherings, Christmas services in churches, Christmas hymns and carols, Christmas holly and mistletoe,—who has not heard of these things? They are as familiar to English people as anything in their lives. They are among the first things we remember when we were children. Our grandfathers and grandmothers were used to them long before we were born. They have been going on in England for many hundred years. They seem likely to go on as long as the world stands.

But, reader, how many of those who keep Christmas ever consider why Christmas is kept? How many, in their Christmas plans and arrangements, give a thought to Him, without whom there would have been no Christmas at all? How many ever remember that the Lord Jesus Christ is the cause of Christmas ? How many ever reflect that the first intention of Christmas was to remind Christians of Christ’s birth and coming into the world? Reader, how is it with you? What do you think of at Christmas?

Bear with me a few minutes, while I try to press upon you the question which heads this tract. I do not want to make your Christmas merriment less. I do not wish to spoil your Christmas cheer. I only wish to put things in their right places. I want Christ Himself to be remembered at Christmas! Give me your attention while I unfold the question—”What think ye of Christ?”

I. Let us consider, firstly, why all men ought to think of Christ. Continue reading

The Mystery of the Incarnation

“He by whom all things were made was made one of all things. The Son of God by the Father without a mother became the Son of man by a mother without a father. The Word Who is God before all time became flesh at the appointed time. The maker of the sun was made under the sun. He Who fills the world lays in a manger, great in the form of God but tiny in the form of a servant; this was in such a way that neither was His greatness diminished by His tininess, nor was His tininess overcome by His greatness.” (Augustine, Sermon 187)”

 
 
incarnation

Turn Your Eyes Upon Jesus

O soul, are you weary and troubled?
No light in the darkness you see?
There’s a light for a look at the Savior,
And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Through death into life everlasting
He passed, and we follow Him there;
Over us sin no more hath dominion—
For more than conquerors we are!

His Word shall not fail you—He promised;
Believe Him, and all will be well:
Then go to a world that is dying,
His perfect salvation to tell!