Tag Archives: adoration

God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen

God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay,
Remember Christ our Savior was born on Christmas Day;
To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

In Bethlehem, in Israel, this blessèd Babe was born,
And laid within a manger upon this blessèd morn;
The which His mother Mary did nothing take in scorn.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

From God our heavenly Father a blessèd angel came;
And unto certain shepherds brought tidings of the same;
How that in Bethlehem was born the Son of God by name.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

“Fear not, then,” said the angel, “Let nothing you afright
This day is born a Savior of a pure Virgin bright,
To free all those who trust in Him from Satan’s power and might.”
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

The shepherds at those tidings rejoiced much in mind,
And left their flocks a-feeding in tempest, storm and wind,
And went to Bethl’em straightaway this blessèd Babe to find.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

But when to Bethlehem they came where our dear Savior lay,
They found Him in a manger where oxen feed on hay;
His mother Mary kneeling unto the Lord did pray.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

Now to the Lord sing praises all you within this place,
And with true love and brotherhood each other now embrace;
This holy tide of Christmas all others doth deface.
O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy;
O tidings of comfort and joy.

God bless the ruler of this house, and send him long to reign,
And many a merry Christmas may live to see again;
Among your friends and kindred that live both far and near—
That God send you a happy new year, happy new year,
And God send you a happy new year.

Words and Music by Unknown, ca 15th Century

 


Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.
Matthew 11:28 – 30

For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
Ephesians 6:12

But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
1 Corinthians 15:57


 

The Christmas season is full of joy and excitement. A time that many people look forward to every year. There are parties, gifts, shopping and travel. Unfortunately, it can also be a time of selfish desire when greed seems to dominate our thinking. And for some, it can be a dark, difficult time remembering those we have lost, or how little we may have. “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen” reminds us that it should be a time to find rest in God’s loving arms.

The author writes, “God rest ye merry, gentlemen, let nothing you dismay.” He sees people in the world who face the difficulties of life. People who selfishly look out for themselves. People who feel alone. He sees a people who are in desperate need of rest that can be found in God alone.

But how do we find this rest? The hymn continues, “Remember Christ our Savior, was born on Christmas day.” The reality is that Christ is the only means to find this rest. In Matthew 11:28 Jesus tells us, “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

This is the very reason that Christ came to earth, the very reason he “was born on Christmas Day . . . To save us all from Satan’s power when we were gone astray.” Ephesians 6:12 tells us, “For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.” This is the “Satan’s power” the author wrote about.

The difficulties we face can come from outside forces or they can come from the sinful choices we make or from both. But there is hope, for “thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57) Christ is the only way we can know that hope. He is the only source of the rest we so desperately need.

So as we remember the amazing gift that He has given us, we can find hope to rest in. So we sing with so many others, “O tidings of comfort and joy, comfort and joy; O tidings of comfort and joy.”

 

 

Read more about “God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen.”

All Laud We Would Render

 

Immortal, invisible, God only wise,
In light inaccessible hid from our eyes,
Most blessed, most glorious, the Ancient of Days,
Almighty, victorious, thy great Name we praise.

Unresting, unhasting, and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;
Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love.

To all life thou givest—to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all;
We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light,
Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight;
All laud we would render: O help us to see
’Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

Words by Walter C. Smith, 1876
Music by John Roberts, 1839

It seems that everyone these days wants to sing about the love of God, about how what he has done personally affects “me.” Now while there is nothing wrong with recognizing the love of God. After all , it is the love of God that led Him to send His son to save the world. What is more, it would be ridiculous to ignore how I have been personally effected by this great gift. But sometime, God simply needs to be worshiped for who He is.

This is the entire theme of Immortal, Invisible. It does not focus on Love as demonstrated through Christ. It does not focus on how God cares for us. It does not focus on our response to God’s reaching out to us. It plainly and simply worships God for who He is. In the verses of this song we find some 20 different attributes of and descriptive terms for God. Let’s take a walk through the hymn.

Immortal, invisible – These words draw us to 1 Timothy 1:17 where Paul writes, “Now to the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only God, be honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”

God only wise – Again we are drawn to the writings of Paul, but this time in Romans 16:27 where we read “to the only wise God be glory forever through Jesus Christ! Amen.”

In light inaccessible hid from our eyes – Bringing us back to 1 Timothy we read in chapter 6, verse 16 that “He alone possesses immortality and lives in unapproachable (inaccessible) light, whom no human has ever seen or is able to see. To him be honor and eternal power! Amen.”

Most blessed – God is the most blessed and so in Psalm 103:1 we read “Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

most glorious – We go on in 1 Corinthians 29:13 to read “Now, our God, we give you thanks, and praise your glorious name.”

the Ancient of Days – The ancient of days, a term we find three times in the book of Daniel.  Daniels 7:9-10 says “thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened.

Almighty – A term we are all familiar with for God and the term he ascribes to himself in Genesis 17:1 where God declares, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.”

victorious – God is the ultimate victor which we find in 1 Corinthians 15:56 – 57 were we read “The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

thy great Name we praise – It is in response to this in Psalm 148:13 that we read “Let them praise the name of the LORD, for his name alone is exalted; his splendor is above the earth and the heavens.”

Unresting – God does not slumber, he is always present and watching over. Psalm 124:3 – 4 tells us, “He will not allow your foot to slip; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel Will neither slumber nor sleep.”

unhasting – God does not simply rush in but acts with deliberation in all that he does. 2 Peter 3:9 tells us, “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.”

and silent as light,
Nor wanting, nor wasting, thou rulest in might;

Thy justice like mountains high soaring above
Thy clouds which are fountains of goodness and love. – God’s justice and love are immeasurable reaching to the highest points. Psalm 26:5 – 6 read “Your love, Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the highest mountains, your justice like the great deep. You, Lord, preserve both people and animals.”

To all life thou givest—to both great and small;
In all life thou livest, the true life of all; – God is the only source of life. We find this declared in 1 Corinthians 8:6 where it says “yet for us there is but one God, the Father, from whom all things came and for whom we live; and there is but one Lord, Jesus Christ, through whom all things came and through whom we live.”

We blossom and flourish as leaves on the tree,
And wither and perish—but naught changeth thee.

Great Father of glory, pure Father of light– It is James who presents us with the image of God as the Father of lights. We read in chapter 1 verse 17 that “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.”

Thine angels adore thee, all veiling their sight – One of the greatest images of God’s holiness is found in Isaiah 6:1 – 3 were we read “In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another: ‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.’”

All laud we would render – It is for this reason that God alone is worthy of praise and worship, so we join with David when he writes in Psalm 117, “Praise the Lord, all nations;Laud Him, all peoples! For His lovingkindness is great toward us, And the truth of the Lord is everlasting. Praise the Lord!”

O help us to see
’Tis only the splendour of light hideth thee.

 

Read more about Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise.

How Great Thou Art

O Lord my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds thy hands have made,
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed:

Refrain

Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee:
How great thou art! How great thou art!

When through the woods and forest glades I wander
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees,
When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur,
And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze:

Refrain

And when I think that God, his Son not sparing,
Sent him to die, I scarce can take it in,
That on the cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.

Refrain

When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart!
Then I shall bow in humble adoration,
And there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!

Written by Carl Gustav Boberg, 1885
Music traditional Swedish melody

 

Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. For the Lord is the great God, the great King above all gods. In his hand are the depths of the earth, and the mountain peaks belong to him. The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.
Psalm 95:1-7

 

There are certain hymns that everyone knows, often whether you are a Christian or not. This is one of them. How Great Thou Art seems as though it has been around forever, but the reality this hymn, as we know it, has only been around for 60 years. While the original swedish poem was written in 1885, the english version we now know was published in 1954.

But it is the words of this song, set to a traditional swedish melody, that stir people’s hearts to make what is in many ways a relatively recent addition to hymnals one of everyone’s favorites.

It starts with words that set the stage. “Oh Lord my God.” These words say it all. To often today we get caught up in the mentality that Jesus is my buddy. While it is true that He is described as one who is closer than a brother (Proverbs 18:24), he is more. He is the almighty creator of the universe. We are not simply talking about our good, or even best, friend. We are talking about God. And so these words stir me every time I sing them, “Oh Lord My God.”

But this is again, just the beginning, for the next line opens the door for all that is to come, “when I in awesome wonder.” I am astounded by the size and majesty of the universe that He has created. I see His awesome power revealed in the powers of the storms. And the power and beauty of his creation is further developed in verse two.

In verse three I am moved from considering the awesomeness and beauty of his creation, to considering the unfathomable gift of forgiveness that He has given through Jesus. He sent His very son to die on the cross that I might be forgiven of my sins.

This is the truth that we to often forget. God is to be revered and worshiped above all. He is worthy of this worship both because of who He is and what He has done. It is before this God that we can not even stand, but in awe of His greatness we are driven to our knees in worship.

This is where we find ourselves in verse four. “When Christ shall come with shout of acclamation And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart! Then I shall bow in humble adoration, And there proclaim, My God, how great thou art!”

And so, in a powerful voice, I declare with so many others, “Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God, to thee: How great thou art! How great thou art!

 

 

Read more about the history of “How Great Thou Art.”