Lift Up Your Heads, Ye Mighty Gates

This hymn is based on Psalm 24, and is sung for both Advent and Palm Sunday.

Lift up your heads, O gates!
    And lift them up, O ancient doors,
    that the King of glory may come in.
Who is this King of glory?
    The Lord of hosts,
    he is the King of glory!
~Psalm 24:9-10

Lift up your heads, ye mighty gates;
Behold, the King of glory waits;
The King of kings is drawing near;
The Savior of the world is here!

O blest the land, the city blest,
Where Christ the Ruler is confessed!
O happy hearts and happy homes
To whom this King in triumph comes!

Redeemer, come! I open wide
My heart to thee; here, Lord, abide.
Let me thy inner presence feel;
Thy grace and love in me reveal.

Lyrics:from Psalm 24, George Weissel, 1642, tr. Catherine Winkworth, 1855
Music: TRURO, from Musica Sacra, 1789

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Facing a Task Unfinished — Sunday Song

This Sunday, our church, along with other churches around the world, will be singing a hymn that has been updated by the Gettys.

Here’s the introduction video that explains what this is about.

And here is the song.

Your church can register to participate here.

 

I Will Sing the Wondrous Story

Psalm 66:16
Come and hear, all you who fear God,
    and I will tell what he has done for my soul.

Psalm 89:1
I will sing of the steadfast love of the Lord, forever;
    with my mouth I will make known your faithfulness to all generations.

Psalm 145:6-7
They shall speak of the might of your awesome deeds,
    and I will declare your greatness.
They shall pour forth the fame of your abundant goodness
    and shall sing aloud of your righteousness.

Luke 15:3-7
So he told them this parable:
 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the open country, and go after the one that is lost, until he finds it?  And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing. And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and his neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep that was lost.’  Just so, I tell you, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance.

John 10:14-16
 I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me,  just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.  And I have other sheep that are not of this fold. I must bring them also, and they will listen to my voice. So there will be one flock, one shepherd.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0yjw8pva9UY

I will sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ who died for me
How He left the realms of glory
For the cross of Calvary.

Yes I’ll sing the wondrous story
Of the Christ who died for me,
Sing it with the saints in glory,
Gathered by the crystal sea.

I was lost, but Jesus found me,
Found the sheep that went astray,
Raised me up and gently led me
Back into the narrow way.

He will keep me till the river
Rolls its waters at my feet;
Then at last He’ll bring me over
Saved by grace and victory

Words: Francis H. Rowley (1886) Tune: Rowland H. Prichard, 1830, HYFRYDOL

It’s difficult to find the exact music for Robin Mark’s version because he uses the verses & chorus that traditionally go with the tune with which most Americans are familiar, but with the tune, HYFRYDOL (Come, Thou Long-Expected Jesus), but I found a useable chart here.

Before the Throne — Sunday Song

A classic “newer” hymn. The text was written by Charitie Lees Bancroft in 1860. The alternate words and music were written by Vikki Cook. (© 1997 Sovereign Grace Worship) We’ve used this song in our church for several years and it’s a favorite of mine. It’s such a blessing to be reminded that we are held securely in God’s hands.

Before the throne of God above
I have a strong and perfect plea
A great high priest whose name is love
Who ever lives and pleads for me.
My name is graven on His hands
My name is written on His heart
I know that while in heav’n He stands,
No tongue can bid me thence depart
No tongue can bid me thence depart

When Satan tempts me to despair
And tells me of the guilt within
Upward I look and see Him there
Who made an end of all my sin
Because the sinless Savior died
My sinful soul is counted free
For God the Just is satisfied
To look on Him and pardon me
To look on Him and pardon me

Behold Him there the risen Lamb
My perfect spotless righteousness
The great unchangeable I AM
The King of Glory and of Grace
One with Himself I cannot die
My soul is purchased by His blood
My life is hid with Christ on high
With Christ my Savior and my God
With Christ my Savior and my God

You can find resources for this song here.

Isaiah 49:16, John 8:58, Romans 6:8-9, Romans 8:1-2
Romans 8:34, Colossians 3:3, Hebrews 4:14-16
Hebrews 7:25, 1 Peter 1:18-19, Revelation 7:9-17

Jesus Shall Reign – Enfield

Isaac Watts wrote the words of this hymn based on Psalm 72. The original tune is by John Hatton. The additional text, music, & arrangement are by Ryan Foglesong. This Psalm and song encourage us to praise Jesus as our King.  He is a far better king than any earthly ruler has been or ever will be.

Jesus shall reign wherever the sun
Does its successive journeys run;
His kingdom spread from shore to shore,
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.

CHORUS
He shall reign in glory,
Crowned with grace and might.
Bless His name and praise the sov’reign King.
He shall reign forever with His chosen bride,
And all the earth shall sing
That Jesus is the King!

People and realms of ev’ry tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song.
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His name.

Let ev’ry creature rise and bring
His grateful honors to our King;
Angels descend with song again.
And earth repeat the loud “Amen!”

You can listen to the song on Spotify. It has also been added to our playlist.

I found the lead sheet here. For our congregation’s use, we will be skipping the instrumental interlude and key change.

You can download the album here.

Review of New Songs in 2015

In looking ahead to the coming year, I wanted to take a look back at the songs we began singing as a congregation in 2015; what worked and what didn’t. I try to introduce new songs one at a time and not add another until the congregation is fairly confident on the last one.

He Will Hold Me Fast  – I introduced this song in January of 2015 and it quickly became a favorite for our congregation. We’ll continue singing it.

My Worth is Not In What I Own – I love this song and it works but it doesn’t always fit in a service. We might be able to sing the chorus on its own after another song.

Come Behold The Wondrous Mystery – Definitely my favorite new song this year. It has been especially fitting for our Pastor’s study of the book of John.

The Risen Christ – Most of the congregation knows  this song as “O Breath of God” and it’s become an especially meaningful song to several of our church members as they have had deaths in their families. It’s nice as a quiet service opener.

My Soul Longs for the Lord – well, this one just never caught on. I tried it three separate times (2 weeks in a row, skipped a week, and then tried it again) and the congregation never really sang it with confidence. I think the melody just has too many surprises in it. It has been retired from our song rotation.

Salvation’s Song – We did this song twice before Advent and I’m anxious to get back to it this week.

Five out of six isn’t bad! What was your favorite new song this year?