Thursday, April 09, 2009

Small-group hymn-singing

Tonight at the small group I host and lead, we began a study of Paul's Epistle to the Galatians. To wrap up the evening I suggested we sing #135 from the Blue Trinity Hymnal, "I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art". The verse cited on the page is Galatians 1:4 which reads, "Who gave Himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world..."

It was a wonderful opportunity to offer praise to God with voices unprepared but joyful and sincere. The result was beautiful and a reminder to me of the blessing it is to "let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God." (Col. 3:16)

Here is the full text to this wonderful hymn:

I greet thee, who my sure Redeemer art,
My only trust and Saviour of my heart
Who pain didst undergo for my poor sake;
I pray thee from our hearts all cares to take.

Thou art the King of mercy and of grave,
Reigning omnipotent in ev'ry place
So come, O King, and our whole being sway;
Shine on us with the light of thy pure day.

Thou art the Life, by which alone we live,
And all our substance and our strength receive;
O comfort us in death's approaching hour,
Strong-hearted then to face it by thy pow'r.

Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness,
No harshness hast thou and no bitterness:
Make us to taste the sweet grace found in thee
And ever stay in thy sweet unity.

Our hope is in no other save in thee;
Our faith is built upon they promise free;
O grant to us such stronger hope and sure
That we can boldly conquer and endure.

Amen.

(Text from the Strasbourg Psalter of 1545, tune from the Geneva Psalter of 1551)

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