These sufferings, this passing tide
Under Your wings I will abide,
And every enemy shall flee.
You are my hope and victory.
Those words are from the choir’s song for this week, Praise the Father, Praise the Son, and set the theme for our service: that we can praise God under any circumstances or sufferings. I love the image of hiding in the shadow of God’s wings, as found in Psalm 57: Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy on me, for in you my soul takes refuge. I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster has passed and in Psalm 17: Keep me as the apple of your eye; hide me in the shadow of your wings.
This song is made up of a chorus…
Praise the Father, praise the Son, praise the Spirit, Three in One.
Clothed in power and in grace; the name above all other names.
…and three verses giving reasons that we praise Him: He is the Almighty God, He is our hope in trials, and He is our salvation. In the first verse, God is the Almighty:
O sovereign God, O matchless King, the saints adore, the angels sing,
And fall before the throne of grace. To You belongs the highest praise.
In the second verse, above, He is our hope and victory in any circumstances. And in the third verse, He has made us whole.
To the valley, for my soul; Thy great descent has made me whole.
Your Word my heart has welcomed home; now peace like water ever flows.
The first song in the service will be Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King. The choir sang this song several weeks ago, and now it’s your turn as we join in singing it as a congregation–especially fitting because of this line in the chorus: Hear Your bride, to You we sing. We, the church, are the bride of Christ, and it’s our privilege to gather together and sing His praises as a body. Why do we do this? The answer is in the first verse: Streams of mercy, never ceasing, call for songs of loudest praise.
The verses of Come Thou Fount will be familiar to you–they’re the verses of the hymn Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing. I like this song because it has something for everyone when it comes to music styles: it’s an old hymn, with a new chorus, set in a contemporary style but keeping the traditional melody.
And finally, we’ll sing Give Thanks:
Give thanks with a grateful heart; give thanks to the Holy One.
Give thanks because He’s given Jesus Christ, His Son.
And now, let the weak say, “I am strong;” let the poor say, “I am rich,”
Because of what the Lord has done for us.
Praise the Father, Praise the Son: words and music by Ed Cash and Chris Tomlin. Copyright 2008 worshiptogether.com Songs/sixsteps Music/Vamos Publishing/Alletrop Music. Come Thou Fount, Come Thou King: words and music by Robert Robinson and Thomas Miller. Copyright 2010 worshiptogether.com Songs/sixsteps Music/Vamos Publishing/Hillsong Publishing. Give Thanks: words and music by Henry Smith. Copyright 1978 Integrity’s Hosanna! Music. CCLI #3163058.