Sunday, September 06, 2009

How Worship Washes Pain Away

"Without worship we shrink"

Went into a little Methodist church in Huntsville, AL today. As much as I enjoyed seeing my mother-in-law and getting away with my wife and children, I walked in weighed down and heavy.

Life does that sometimes. Hurting hearts tend to overwhelm us and color all of life a dark gray.

The offertory hymn was Charles Wesley- each line began to wash away my pain:

Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace; (my heart needed this tuning)
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise. (how can I be sad- Jesus died for me and offers grace)
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above. (the fire I am going through is for my good)
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love. (see cross- it changes everything)
Sorrowing I shall be in spirit,
Till released from flesh and sin, (this world will remain tough throughout my life)
Yet from what I do inherit,
Here Thy praises I’ll begin; ( I will praise God in all circumstances)
Here I raise my Ebenezer;
Here by Thy great help I’ve come;
And I hope, by Thy good pleasure,
Safely to arrive at home. (This world is not my home)
Jesus sought me when a stranger,
Wandering from the fold of God;
He, to rescue me from danger,
Interposed His precious blood;
How His kindness yet pursues me
Mortal tongue can never tell,
Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me
I cannot proclaim it well. (What a story! What a Savior!
O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it, (yes... all too easy- all too soon)
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
O that day when freed from sinning,
I shall see Thy lovely face;
Clothed then in blood washed linen
How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace;
Come, my Lord, no longer tarry,
Take my ransomed soul away;
Send thine angels now to carry
Me to realms of endless day.

Well- I guess you can imagine... all the clouds of despair were blasted by God's grace and power. I'm ready to roll- what have I to cry about?

Arch Bishop of Canterbury- William Temple said it well:
“Worship is the submission of all of our nature to God.
It is the quickening of conscience by His holiness, nourishment of mind by His truth, purifying of imagination by His beauty, opening of the heart to His love, and submission of will to His purpose.And all this gathered up in adoration is the greatest of human expressions of which we are capable.”
Thank-you Lord for worship.... How can we live without you?

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