We who preach the gospel must not think of ourselves as public relations agents sent to establish good will between Christ and the world. We must not imagine ourselves commissioned to make Christ acceptable to big business, the press, the world of sports or modern education. We are not diplomats but prophets, and our message is not a compromise but an ultimatum. A.W. Tozer

Monday, July 2, 2012

Thought-Provoking Hymns


Our opening and closing hymns yesterday are the type which most modern stuff can’t compete with in regards to making us think about our faith.  While these two didn’t have any specific doctrinal teachings, they were food for thought nevertheless.
The opening hymn is one I’m sure is sung in many churches the week of Independence Day, since that is the celebration for which it was written over a century ago.  The first time I ever heard this one, when I was a teenager, was just the instrumental version played by Cities Service Band of America on an old record my father had, and the trumpets at the start, as well as between each phrase, were quite stirring.  It was many years later, after I became a Christian, that I finally heard it as a hymn.  It is called a “National Hymn,” which I suppose expresses the purpose of its origin.
At any rate, while singing it yesterday I couldn’t help but think what a great nation we could have if as a nation this was our prayer.
God of our Fathers (lyrics by Daniel C. Roberts)
God of our fathers, whose almighty hand
Leads forth in beauty all the starry band
Of shining worlds in splendor through the skies,
Our grateful songs before Thy throne arise.
Thy love divine hath led us in the past,
In this free land by Thee our lot is cast,
Be Thou our Ruler, Guardian, Guide and Stay,
Thy Word our law, Thy paths our chosen way.
From war’s alarms, from deadly pestilence,
Be Thy strong arm our ever sure defense;
Thy true religion in our hearts increase,
Thy bounteous goodness nourish us in peace.
Refresh Thy people on their toilsome way,
Lead us from night to never ending day;
Fill all our lives with love and grace divine,
And glory, laud, and praise be ever Thine.
Our closing hymn, one which I never heard of before, was essentially a reminder as to what our lives should be like as ambassadors for Christ.  (Unfortunately, some may see the lyrics as being in regards to the social gospel, but I don’t see that as the intent.  Perhaps I’m wrong, but I certainly don’t take them that way!)
We Are Called to Be God’s People (lyrics by Thomas A. Jackson)
We are called to be God’s people, showing by our lives His grace,
One in heart and one in spirit, sign of hope for all the race.
Let us know how He has changed us and remade us as His own;
Let us share our life together as we shall around His throne.
We are called to be God’s servants, working in His world today; 
Taking His own task upon us, all His sacred words obey.
Let us rise, then, to His summons, dedicate to Him our all, 
That we may be faithful servants, quick to answer now His call.
We are called to be God’s prophets, speaking for the truth and right;
Standing firm for godly justice, bringing evil into light.
Let us seek the courage needed, our high calling to fulfill,
That we all may know the blessing of the doing of God’s will.

2 comments:

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

(The following comment was sent while comments were blocked)

Glenn,

I always got chills singing "God of Our Fathers" growing up in the Methodist church. The organist did a great job with the stops to get a trumpet sound for the verse intros.  I haven't sung it since leaving because it wasn't used.

That second song is new to me as well.  Everything mentioned has scriptural backing.  Maybe I can see where someone might think it alludes to the social gospel, but only if someone wanted to press the issue because of certain words used.

Steve Bricker
Now blogging at srbricker.blogspot.com

Glenn E. Chatfield said...

Hi Steve, 

We had another couple songs in the middle of the service, but I can only remember the one - "Shout to the Lord."  That one I first heard at Maranatha.  It's okay, but they like to go around and around with it.

"God of Our Fathers" is certainly a very stirring hymn - and can be marched to!  Too bad it won't go on the pipes!