Revelation and Response (2)

Christian worship is the full and authentic expression of our hearts towards God in response to the full and authentic revelation of God’s heart towards us in His word.

—Matt Creamer

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Both/And

There is no inherent conflict between seeking to deepen our theological and traditional roots  and finding wholesome ways to engage our surrounding culture. Indeed, these processes are complementary.

—William A. Dyrness, William A. A Primer on Christian Worship, 147

Worship Change for the New Year?

Innovation for the sake of innovation  can simply be silly, and constant innovation can lead to insecurity. The environment must be seen as a dynamic equilibrium supported by a comfortable level of constancy within a context supportive of change.

—Tim Sharp, “Here We Go Again—Being Creative in a New Year,” Sacred Music News and Review, January 1999

A Prayer for Year’s End

O Love beyond Compare,
Thou art good when Thou givest,
when Thou takest away,
when the sun shines upon me,
when night gathers over me.
Thou hast loved me before the foundation of the world,
and in love didst redeem my soul;
Thou dost love me still,
in spite of my hard heart, ingratitude, distrust.
Thy goodness has been with me another year,
leading me through a twisting wilderness,
in retreat helping me to advance,
when beaten back making sure headway.
Thy goodness will be with me in the year ahead;
I hoist sail and draw up anchor,
With Thee as the blessed pilot of my future as of my past.
I bless Thee that Thou hast veiled my eyes to the waters ahead.
If Thou hast appointed storms of tribulation,
Thou wilt be with me in them;
If I have to pass through tempests of persecution and temptation,
I shall not drown;
If I am to die,
I shall see Thy face the sooner;
If a painful end is to be my lot,
grant me grace that my faith fail not;
If I am to be cast aside from the service I love,
I can make no stipulation;
Only glorify Thyself in me whether in comfort or trial,
as a chosen vessel meet always for Thy use.

The Valley of Vision

Emmanuel! (14)

Come, Desire of Nations, come,
Fix in us Thy humble Home,
Rise, the Woman’s Conqu’ring Seed,
Bruise in us the Serpent’s Head.
Now display Thy saving Pow’r,
Ruin’d Nature now restore,
Now in Mystic Union join
Thine to ours, and ours to Thine.

Hark how all the Welkin rings,
“Glory to the Kings of Kings”!

—Charles Wesley, “Hark! How All the Welkin Rings” (now “Hark! the Herald Angels Sing”) (1739)