Patrick Miller Kirkland (1857-1943) wrote this hymn for Easter evening.
Jesus, Lord, Redeemer,
Once for sinners slain,
Crucified in weakness,
Raised in power, to reign,
Dwelling with the Father,
Endless in thy days,
Unto thee be glory,
Honor, blessing, praise.
Faithful ones, communing,
Towards the close of day,
Desolate and weary,
Met thee in the way.
So, when sun is setting,
Come to us, and show
All the truth: and in us
Make our hearts to glow.
In the upper chamber,
Where the ten, in fear,
Gathered sad and troubled,
There thou didst appear.
So, O Lord, this evening,
Bid our sorrows cease;
Breathing on us, Savior,
Say, ‘I give you peace.’
Here’s the closing prayer:
Master, this day is our day to stand and look. To be amazed and disturbed. This is a day to put away glad songs, and to see the terrible cost of our salvation. This is also a day to believe, and as Watts said, to know what is demanded in the Great Exchange at the heart of the Gospel. Forgive me for living in the shadow of this bloody execution as if it were religious art or a cultural symbol or the inspiration for music or preaching. This is my life, my death, my sin and your love. This is the beating of the heart of a Christian. Give me grace to pause and look. To see, feel, weep and above all, believe and keep on believing. Through Jesus. Amen.
Words from John Piper:
[T]he essence of worship is not external, localized acts, but an inner, Godward experience that shows itself externally not primarily in church services (though they are important) but primarily in daily expressions of allegiance to God.
Brothers, We Are Not Professionals, page 228 (ebook edition)
A moving hymn by John Newton. I don’t think I have the guts to try to set it musically for fear of somehow losing the power of the text itself.
Prayer answered by crosses
I asked the Lord that I might grow
In faith, and love, and every grace;
Might more of his salvation know,
And seek, more earnestly, his face.
’Twas he who taught me thus to pray,
And he, I trust, has answered prayer!
But it has been in such a way,
As almost drove me to despair.
I hoped that in some favored hour,
At once he’d answer my request;
And by his love’s constraining pow’r,
Subdue my sins, and give me rest.
Instead of this, he made me feel
The hidden evils of my heart;
And let the angry pow’rs of hell
Assault my soul in every part.
Yea more, with his own hand he seemed
Intent to aggravate my woe;
Crossed all the fair designs I schemed,
Blasted my gourds, and laid me low.
Lord, why is this, I trembling cried,
Wilt thou pursue thy worm to death?
“’Tis in this way, the Lord replied,
I answer prayer for grace and faith.
These inward trials I employ,
From self, and pride, to set thee free;
And break thy schemes of earthly joy,
That thou may’st find thy all in me.”
John Newton. Olney Hymns (1799), Book III, 36.
Spurred on by Bruce Benedict’s post Songs for Epiphany, here is an arrangement of At the Name of Jesus to Ralph Vaughan Williams’ outstanding tune, King’s Weston.
On the Worship Reformation Network mailing list, some recent discussion has revolved around “O Holy Night” and its appropriateness as a congregational song. Leeanne White posted a translation of the original French poem on which “O Holy Night” is based.
Midnight, Christians, it’s the solemn hour,
When God-man descended to us
To erase the stain of original sin
And to end the wrath of His Father.
The entire world thrills with hope
On this night that gives it a Savior.
People kneel down, wait for your deliverance.
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, here is the Redeemer!
The ardent light of our Faith,
Guides us all to the cradle of the infant,
As in ancient times a brilliant star
Conducted the Magi there from the orient.
The King of kings was born in a humble manger;
O mighty ones of today, proud of your grandeur,
It is to your pride that God preaches.
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
Bow your heads before the Redeemer!
The Redeemer has overcome every obstacle:
The Earth is free, and Heaven is open.
He sees a brother where there was only a slave,
Love unites those that iron had chained.
Who will tell Him of our gratitude,
It’s for all of us that He is born,
That He suffers and dies.
People stand up! Sing of your deliverance,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer,
Christmas, Christmas, sing of the Redeemer!
Though the current English translation is beloved, I wish we had a new translation that reflected more of the character and weight of the original.