Hymns are balm to my soul. Poetry and music joined. We sang this oldy-but-goody this morning; number 1 in the hymnal. I repeat the first two stanzas only with special emphasis on the boon that certain lines in hymns (as in poetry) are to my faith life. EARLY in the morning, my song shall rise -- up with the sun, up with the birdsong, up with the mist on the lake. And, more prosaically, the use of the archaic 'wert'. A satisfying word.
This morning's sermon was on holiness, part of a series on 'The Nature of the Church.' Personal holiness is required of Christians, as we are not our own. To paraphrase the scriptures: would you wear your muck-spattered barn boots across a beautiful white carpet? Neither should we try to join our new selves, which are one with Christ, with our old muck (or new muck, I suppose).
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty!
Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee.
Holy, holy, holy! Merciful and mighty,
God in three persons, blessed Trinity!
Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee,
casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee,
which wert, and art, and evermore shalt be.
Words by Reginald Heber
Music by John B. Dykes