Remember when we at school and after break was double maths or double art and the rush to class depended on your passion for the subject. I hated art and loved maths so sat in the classroom on my own for a good five minutes before the next person arrived. It was not popular but necessary.

Heinz

This week I have had double hymns, it is great, I am passionate about singing for my Lord and so practicing hymns for two churches just fills me with double joy. Because of circumstance I have been in this week I also didn’t post yesterday, almost didn’t make my deadline for http://thewritepractice.com/ and was running around a lot. A couple of people needed support and so I dropped one thing to do another. I had also faithfully promised to do every school and college run this week and thus far have kept to that. Money appeared from an unlikely source and I was able to buy a few essentials to mix with the dwindling freezer horde.

I am keeping a phrase from Henry Jackson Van Dyke in my head as I stumble from project to project this week

Time is too slow for those who wait, too swift for those who fear, too long for those who grieve, too short for those who re­joice, but for those who love, time is eter­ni­ty.”

Because I have found enough time to do everything and again managed a story with a hint of hope at the end. So it is a time of celebration and the first hymn for today is Joyful Joyful We Adore Thee. It is one of those hymns that you cannot help but come out of it more joyous than you went in, Beethoven was a genius composer and the words are just abfab.He himself said of it:

These vers­es are sim­ple ex­press­ions of com­mon Christ­ian feel­ings and de­sires in this pre­sent time—hymns of to­day that may be sung to­ge­ther by peo­ple who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of sci­ence will de­stroy re­li­gion, or any re­vo­lu­tion on earth over­throw the king­dom of hea­ven. There­fore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.

  1. Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
    God of glory, Lord of love;
    Hearts unfold like flow’rs before Thee,
    Op’ning to the sun above.
    Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
    Drive the dark of doubt away;
    Giver of immortal gladness,
    Fill us with the light of day!
  2. All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
    Earth and heav’n reflect Thy rays,
    Stars and angels sing around Thee,
    Center of unbroken praise.
    Field and forest, vale and mountain,
    Flow’ry meadow, flashing sea,
    Singing bird and flowing fountain
    Call us to rejoice in Thee.
  3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
    Ever blessing, ever blest,
    Wellspring of the joy of living,
    Ocean depth of happy rest!
    Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
    All who live in love are Thine;
    Teach us how to love each other,
    Lift us to the joy divine.
  4. Mortals, join the happy chorus,
    Which the morning stars began;
    Father love is reigning o’er us,
    Brother love binds man to man.
    Ever singing, march we onward,
    Victors in the midst of strife,
    Joyful music leads us Sunward
    In the triumph song of life.
  5. HJ Van Dyke was a scholar and a gentle man, he wrote many books and short stories as well as hymns. He was gifted in prose and poem, one of my favourite poems of his is a small eight line rhyming scanning poem called “The Gentle Traveller” I think because I am not in that place but try desperately hard to be there, this just reminds me that I can find it right beside me.
  6. Philip P. Bliss is the second hymnist today, he wrote many hymns that we sing today but this one is apt for the season we are coming into because HALLELUJAH what a SAVIOUR we have!!! He died at age 38 approx (maths is no longer my favourite subject) trying to free his wife from a railroad accident. They both died at the scene. His last hymn written is My Redeemer, all his hymns have easily sung tunes and are lovley sung without accompaniment. Moody wrote of him that he was to his generation what Charles Wesley was to his for his hymnwriting.
  7. Man of Sorrows! what a name
    For the Son of God, who came
    Ruined sinners to reclaim.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Bearing shame and scoffing rude,
    In my place condemned He stood;
    Sealed my pardon with His blood.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Guilty, vile, and helpless we;
    Spotless Lamb of God was He;
    “Full atonement!” can it be?
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    Lifted up was He to die;
    “It is finished!” was His cry;
    Now in Heav’n exalted high.
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    When He comes, our glorious King,
    All His ransomed home to bring,
    Then anew His song we’ll sing:
    Hallelujah! What a Savior!

    And finally I have to finish with a poem, have just found this poem by Emma Lazarus (statue of liberty poet) about the dust value of wealth beauty and power but the evalsting love, truth mercy and grace found in the Lord, I add Jesus.

    GIFTS.

      “O World-God, give me Wealth!” the Egyptian cried.
    His prayer was granted. High as heaven behold
    Palace and Pyramid; the brimming tide
    Of lavish Nile washed all his land with gold.
    Armies of slaves toiled ant-wise at his feet,
    World-circling traffic roared through mart and street,
    His priests were gods, his spice-balmed kings enshrined
    Set death at naught in rock-ribbed charnels deep.
    Seek Pharaoh’s race to-day, and ye shall find
    Rust and the moth, silence and dusty sleep.

      “O World-God, give me Beauty!” cried the Greek.
    His prayer was granted. All the earth became
    Plastic and vocal to his sense; each peak,
    Each grove, each stream, quick with Promethean flame,
    Peopled the world with imaged grace and light.
    The lyre was his, and his the breathing might
    Of the immortal marble, his the play
    Of diamond-pointed thought and golden tongue.
    Go seek the sunshine race. Ye find to-day
    A broken column and a lute unstrung.

      “O World-God, give me Power!” the Roman cried.
    His prayer was granted. The vast world was chained
    A captive to the chariot of his pride,
    The blood of myriad provinces was drained
    To feed that fierce, insatiable red heart—
    Invulnerably bulwarked every part
    With serried legions and with close-meshed Code.
    Within, the burrowing worm had gnawed its home:
    A roofless ruin stands where once abode
    The imperial race of everlasting Rome.

      “O God-head, give me Truth!” the Hebrew cried.
    His prayer was granted. He became the slave
    Of the Idea, a pilgrim far and wide,
    Cursed, hated, spurned, and scourged with none to save.
    The Pharaohs knew him, and when Greece beheld,
    His wisdom wore the hoary crown of Eld.
    Beauty he hath forsworn, and wealth and power.
    Seek him to-day, and find in every land.
    No fire consumes him, neither floods devour;
    Immortal through the lamp within his hand.

    EMMA LAZARUS.

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