humming hymns

During the Eucharist in Church yesterday, we sang "In Christ Alone" by Stuart Townend & Keith Getty. I loved the melody, the musicians sounded great, Johnny's face radiated joy as he played percussion, the congregation sang with gusto, and our small sanctuary (smelling of incense) seemed to burst with worship. I thought it was just me, but afterward a friend said, "I've been to many Churches in my life, but this is the first place where I feel like most people are really worshiping." It's hard to explain if you weren't there. I've heard that some African Churches worship for 3-4 hours or longer. If their services are similar to ours yesterday, I understand why. There's no place you'd rather be than in the presence of God, right?

The following quote (from the Indelible Grace III: For All the Saints web site) is right on:

"Worship is about having our sanity restored and getting in touch with reality."

Johnny and I are big fans of what the Indelible Grace folks do with hymns. Sandra McCracken is one of 'em, and I cannot recommend her own album of hymns - The Builder and the Architect - highly enough. "Rock of Ages (When the Day Seems Long)" is very healing to my soul. I find myself humming its tune throughout the day or mulling over the lyrics at night - a lullaby:
[click here for a snippet of the song, and to buy Sandra's album]

Rock of Ages, when the day seems long
from this labor and this heartache I have come
the skies will wear out but You remain the same
Rock of Ages, I praise Your name.

Rock of Ages, You have brought me near
You have poured out Your life blood, Your love, and Your tears
to make this stone heart come alive again
Rock of Ages, forgive my sin.

Rock of Ages, bind Your children until the kingdom comes
Rock of Ages, Your will be done.

Rock of Ages, when in want or rest
my desperate need for such a Savior I confess
and pry these idols out from my heart's embrace
Rock of Ages, I need Your grace.

Rock of Ages, broken, scorned for me
who am I that You would die to make me free?
to give me glory You took the death and the pain
Rock of Ages, my offering.

Rock of Ages bind Your children until the kingdom comes
Rock of Ages Your will be done.

Rock of Ages, it is done You cried
the curtains torn and I see justice satisfied
now write Your mercy here on my heart and hands
Rock of Ages, in faith I stand.

Rock of Ages, my great hope secure
Your promise holds just like an anchor to my soul
bind Your children with cords of love and grace
Rock of Ages, we give You praise.

Rock of Ages bind Your children until the kingdom comes
Rock of Ages, Your will be done


Johnny! said...

Love the Sandra.

Laura Leigh Dobson said...

I love Indelible Grace.

I must say we have struggled to find a good church since moving to our present location. Genuine worship seems hard to come by these days for me. But it forces me to be more diligent with my private worship time.

jenni said...

We searched for a good Church for awhile, too. It's a blessing to find.