Descriptions of Hymns
~~~~~December 08 2013 ~~~~~
We will start our service this week with a few more Christmas hymns, the first of which is the well known "O Come, All Ye Faithful," by John Francis Wade and translated by Frederick Oakeley. Though this is typically a hymn sung only around Christmas time, the profound language calling followers of Christ together resonates well beyond the few weeks leading up to Christmas. In the same way we see the faithful, joyful, and triumphant described as coming to see and rejoice at the coming of their Savior, we should have the same attitude of faithfulness and rejoicing when coming to the Lord. This will be followed by another Christmas hymn, "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly." Use the words in this hymn to reflect on what it actually meant for God to physically lower himself into creation through Jesus Christ.
To prepare our hearts to look to God's word, we will sing the great Samuel John Stone hymn, "The Church's One Foundation." This hymn is especially relevant in the context of communal worship because, as a church, it is crucial that we are constantly reminded that our unification doesn't come from anything that we ourselves do or anything that we may seem to have in common, but, rather, our foundation is in the love of our Savior, Jesus Christ:
"Elect from every nation, yet one o'er all the earth,
Our final hymn, "Thou Who Wast Rich," which is a relatively modern one by Frank Houghton, reinforces the theme we find in "Infant Holy, Infant Lowly." The beautiful words illustrate so vividly what it actually means for Christ to lower himself to become man:
"Thou who wast rich beyond all splendour,
Usher Duties for November 2013