Descriptions of Hymns

~~~~~April 13 2014 ~~~~~

This Sunday, we have the opportunity to have students from Reformed University Fellowship (RUF) at Ole Miss assist in leading music.  As a congregation, we can get a glimpse of the type of music normally sung at RUF as well as giving students a chance to serve their church.  Because of the depth and richness found in many of the older and traditional hymns, RUF chooses to sing many of these during its typical meetings.  However, a large portion of these hymns are sung to newer melodies and arrangements that are typically a more modern progression and lend themselves more naturally to instruments other than piano or organ.  

We will start our service by singing the well known hymn "Crown Him with Many Crowns," by Matthew Bridges in 1851, which was inspired by a passage in Revalation that describes Jesus' triumphant return.  However, a few years later, Godfrey Thring, who was an Anglican clergyman, feared the words written by Bridges might be leaning to closely to Catholic theology for his congregation to sing, so he penned six new verses.  The version we sing today combines both versions by Bridges and Thring to express powerful truths about the gospel.  Use these words from the third stanza to be reminded of the glory we celebrate as we gather as one unified body:

"Crown Him the Lord of life, 
Who triumphed o'er the grave, 
Who rose victorious to the strife 
For those He came to save."

We will continue by singing another well known hymn, "How Firm a Foundation."  This provides us with a comforting reminder that the foundation we have resting in Jesus Christ and the promises found in His word can carry us through any trial.  Through any verse in this hymn could be singled out for meditation, the third verse deals specifically with fear, and how the proper response to such a feeling is seek the strength and aid from our Heavenly Father.  Through such struggles we are reminded of our complete dependence of Him:

"Fear not, I am with thee, O be not dismayed,
For I am thy God and will still give thee aid;
I’ll strengthen and help thee, and cause thee to stand
Upheld by My righteous, omnipotent hand."

To prepare our hearts for worship, we will sing "Jesus, Cast A Look On Me," which is a great example of a traditional hymn that has been rearranged to a different melody.  We have sung this song before at Christ Pres., so some may already be familiar with it, but the song provides a fitting plea for God to bless us with His presence and set our hearts and minds on Him as we look to His word:

"All that feeds my busy pride, 
Cast it evermore aside 
Bid my will to Thine submit, 
Lay me humbly at Thy feet."

We will end our service by singing Robert Lowry's great hymn, "Nothing But The Blood Of Jesus."  These powerful words remind us, as we leave to begin our weeks, that we are completely satisfied through the sacrificial love of Jesus.  Continue to meditate on these words of praise:

"Oh! precious is the flow
That makes me white as snow;
No other fount I know,
Nothing but the blood of Jesus."