i’m singing at a funeral today…

and when i sing at funerals, the requests are for hymns.  we don’t sing a lot of hymns in our services, but we do sing them.  that being said, i really do love the deep theology of the hymnody and what those songs mean.

my favorite hymn lyrics come from English poet William Cowper (pronounced Cooper)

Light Shining Out of Darkness

by William Cowper

God moves in a mysterious way,
His wonders to perform;
He plants his footsteps in the sea,
And rides upon the storm.

Deep in unfathomable mines
Of never failing skill,
He treasures up his bright designs,
And works his sovereign will.

Ye fearful saints, fresh courage take,
The clouds ye so much dread
Are big with mercy, and shall break
In blessings on your head.

Judge not the LORD by feeble sense,
But trust him for his grace;
Behind a frowning providence,
He hides a smiling face.

His purposes will ripen fast,
Unfolding ev’ry hour;
The bud may have a bitter taste,
But sweet will be the flow’r.

Blind unbelief is sure to err,
And scan his work in vain;
GOD is his own interpreter,
And he will make it plain.

if you don’t know about Cowper he suffered from great bouts of depression and would fight off the depression by writing.  this was mostly encouraged by his pastor John Newton and between the two of them, we have quite a bit of the Olney Hymns

my other favorite hymn has to do with the music and it was written by Lowell Mason.

My Faith Looks Up To Thee

words by Ray Palmer music by Lowell Mason

My faith looks up to Thee,
Thou Lamb of Calvary, Savior divine!
Now hear me while I pray, take all my guilt away,
O let me from this day be wholly Thine!

May Thy rich grace impart
Strength to my fainting heart, my zeal inspire!
As Thou hast died for me, O may my love to Thee,
Pure warm, and changeless be, a living fire!

While life’s dark maze I tread,
And griefs around me spread, be Thou my Guide;
Bid darkness turn to day, wipe sorrow’s tears away,
Nor let me ever stray from Thee aside.

When ends life’s transient dream,
When death’s cold sullen stream over me roll;
Blest Savior, then in love, fear and distrust remove;
O bear me safe above, a ransomed soul!

those are my favorite hymns.  from the most wonderful words “behind a bitter providence He hides a smiling face” to the melody in My Faith Looks Up To Thee.


One comment

  1. “He Keeps Me Singing” has been a favorite of mine since my sixth grade Sunday School teacher would make me sing solos in class. I can also see how my life has followed the lyrics.

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