Hymns: Thine Be The Glory

I will deliver this people from the power of the grave;
    I will redeem them from death.
Where, O death, are your plagues?
    Where, O grave, is your destruction?” – Hosea 13:14

What a great Easter hymn! It’s so joyous and bright, a wonderful reminder of Jesus’ death and resurrection. A reminder to be joyful – “Let the Church with gladness hymns of triumph sing/For her Lord now liveth, death has lost its sting!”. A reminder that God should be given all the glory.

Easter is a wonderful time of year, a fantastic celebration, and it’s such a privilege to worship God, partly through such hymns as this.

The music here really makes a good hymn great, especially as it’s usually sung on Easter Day, with a full church, the organ at full blast and a modulation in the final verse.

It’s kind of sad that as soon as Easter was over, it was straight back to work, essays and deadlines. But then again there is no better reason to praise God, and it is such a privilege to be able to celebrate it not only at Easter, but throughout the year.

What’s the weather like?

“So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” – Matthew 6:31-34
One CU last year, one of the leaders (who is now one of my housemates) came up with an idea. We went round the group, and all of us described our situations, our worries, our stresses, and our hopes in terms of the weather.
Lots of people disliked this idea. It seemed to make very little sense, and was a little too vague and analogy-like.
But I for one found it pretty useful.
I often have difficulty expressing my emotions. Quite often I can describe my feelings but it’s not that clear-cut. For example, deadlines often make me quite stressed. But not super stressed, just enough that I have to make some progress to relieve the stress, but literally one minute I can be panicking that I haven’t got enough time and the next minute relaxing because I’ve got plenty of time.
Trying to explain that in normal terms, as you’ve just seen, is not that effective.
It just makes a lot of sense to me when putting it in terms of storm clouds, which are threatening to rain but will probably hold off and clear.
On the way back from a (different) CU meeting, my housemate asked how I was feeling about next year. I struggled. She suggested putting it in terms of how the weather was. I responded something along the lines of “mostly sunny, but with some pretty threatening storm clouds on the horizon. Like I’m quite worried about the storm clouds but it’s also a pretty good situation overall.”. She responded simply by reminding me who had the umbrella.
Yes, I’ve got a whole load of stuff to do before I go away in September. I’ve got a whole load of paperwork, plus normal assignments and exams. And no doubt that will be stressful.
But the verse at the top offers a wonderful challenge. Don’t worry about all of that. Because God knows about it. Instead, be searching for Him and His kingdom. Look to glorify Him and seek His grace, mercy and righteousness.
There’s a wonderful quote from someone (attributed to Francis de Sales) that goes something along the lines of “Every Christian needs half an hour of prayer every day, except when he is busy, then he needs an hour.” This, for me, sums up this article. There may be storm clouds on the horizon, or looming overhead, but God is faithful, and we are able to cast our worries onto Him. Our own umbrellas won’t be able to deal with those storms. How reassuring, then, that we don’t need to use our own umbrellas.

When I Get Too Pedantic…

Asda (a cheap UK supermarket) have been advertising their Easter products. And whilst doing so, they used an interesting tagline. “Everything you can imagine this Easter”.

This is where the pedantry really sets in. What I can imagine this Easter is a church full of people praising God, celebrating Jesus’ death and resurrection, singing great hymns like “Thine Be The Glory” at the tops of their voices (with a modulation for the final verse, of course!). And then I broaden this imagination to hundreds and thousands and tens of thousands of churches, all celebrating such a special event!

I probably couldn’t buy that at Asda. I’ll admit, some chocolate wouldn’t go amiss. Which is probably more what Asda had in mind…

10 days to go until Easter!