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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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?

Softly and Tenderly – Sunday Song

By William Lamartine Thompson (1847-1909)

Softly and tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling for you and for me;
See, on the portals He’s waiting and watching,
Watching for you and for me.

Come home, come home,
Ye who are weary, come home;
Earnestly, tenderly Jesus is calling,
Calling, O sinner, come home!

Why should we tarry when Jesus is pleading,
Pleading for you and for me?
Why should we linger and heed not His mercies,
Mercies for you and for me?

O for the wonderful love He has promised,
Promised for you and for me!
Thou we have sinned, He has mercy and pardon,
Pardon for you and me.

Matthew 11:28-30  Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (ESV)

Come, People of the Risen King — Sunday Song

This is another great song by Keith & Kristyn Getty. We’ve been using this for a while now so I was surprised I hadn’t done a post on it yet.

Come, people of the risen King,
Who delight to bring Him praise.
Come, all, and tune your hearts to sing
To the Morning Star of grace.
From the shifting shadows of the earth
We will lift our eyes to Him,
Where steady arms of mercy reach
To gather children in.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Let ev’ry tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice,
O Church of Christ, rejoice!

Come, those whose joy is morning sun,
And those weeping through the night.
Come, those who tell of battles won,
And those struggling in the fight.
For His perfect love will never change,
And His mercies never cease,
But follow us through all our days
With the certain hope of peace.

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Let ev’ry tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice,
O Church of Christ, rejoice!

Come, young and old from ev’ry land,
Men and women of the faith.
Come, those with full or empty hands;
Find the riches of His grace.
Over all the world His people sing;
Shore to shore we hear them call —
The Truth that cries though ev’ry age:
“Our God is all in all!”

Rejoice! Rejoice!
Let ev’ry tongue rejoice!
One heart, one voice,
O Church of Christ rejoice!

Keith Getty, Kristyn Getty and Stuart Townend
© 2007 Thankyou Music;

And Can It Be — Sunday Song

I grew up singing this song but I haven’t sung it for years. Our pastor read some of the lyrics last Sunday which prompted me to add it to our service this week.

I love this recording of it. Simple and straight-forward but sung with such enthusiasm.

And Can It Be?
And can it be that I should gain
An interest in the Savior’s blood?
Died he for me, who caused his pain?
For me, who Him to death pursued?
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

CHORUS
Amazing love! How can it be
That Thou, my God, should die for me?

He left His Father’s throne above;
So free, so infinite His grace.
Emptied Himself of all but love,
And bled for Adam’s helpless race.
‘Tis mercy all, immense and free,
For O my God, it found out me.

(chorus)

Long my imprisoned spirit lay
Fast bound in sin and nature’s night;
Thine eye diffused a quick’ning ray,
I woke, the dungeon flamed with light.
My chains fell off; my heart was free.
I rose, went forth and followed Thee.

(chorus)

No condemnation now I dread;
Jesus, and all in Him is mine!
Alive in Him, my living Head,
And clothed righteousness divine;
Bold I approach the eternal throne
And claim the crown, through Christ my own.

(chorus)

Text: Charles Wesley; Music: Thomas Campbell; Public Domain

Show Us Christ — Sunday Song

This is such a beautiful song for our services, especially right before the message. A prayer that our hearts would be open to seeing Christ in His Word.

Lyrics:
Prepare our hearts, O God
Help us to receive
Break the hard and stony ground
Help our unbelief
Plant Your Word down deep in us
Cause it to bear fruit
Open up our ears to hear
Lead us in Your truth

Show us Christ, show us Christ
O God, reveal Your glory
Through the preaching of Your Word
Until every heart confesses Christ is Lord

Your Word is living light
Upon our darkened eyes
Guards us through temptations
Makes the simple wise
Your Word is food for famished ones
Freedom for the slave
Riches for the needy soul
Come speak to us today

Where else can we go, Lord
Where else can we go
You have the words of eternal life

Words and Music by Doug Plank and Bob Kauflin
© 2011 Sovereign Grace Worship (ASCAP)/Sovereign Grace Praise (BMI)

You can find the charts/sheet music here.

As With Gladness Men of Old

I’m singing this Epiphany hymn this morning. The video below is a beautiful accompaniment to sing along with (the first 30 seconds are intro.)

As with gladness men of old
Did the guiding star behold.
As with joy they hailed its light
Leading onward, beaming bright,
So, most gracious Lord, may we
Evermore be led to Thee.

As with joyful steps they sped
To that lowly manger bed
There to bend the knee before
Him Whom Heaven and earth adore;
So may we with willing feet
Ever seek Thy mercy seat.

As they offered gifts most rare
At that manger rude and bare;
So may we with holy joy,
Pure and free from sin’s alloy,
All our costliest treasures bring,
Christ, to Thee, our heavenly King.

Holy Jesus, every day
Keep us in the narrow way;
And, when earthly things are past,
Bring our ransomed souls at last
Where they need no star to guide,
Where no clouds Thy glory hide.

~William C. Dix, 1860

Matthew 2:2, 11; Revelation 21:23