30th October 2022
Welcome and Introduction to our second Songs of Praise
Our first one found me being prompted to share some of the life of Charles Wesley – more specifically his mother Susannah and the role she played in her two son’s life, a real influence on them!
This time I’ve been inspired by another hymnwriter which we’ll hear more about a little later.
I don’t know if you’ve ever noticed but in the front of our hymn books there is a quotation from Martin Luther which says: “Next to the word of God, music deserves the highest praise. The gift of language combined with the gift of song was given to man that he should proclaim the word of God through music! So let us continue to make His presence glorious in our service today!
Prayer – Father God we come before you to praise and worship Your Holy Name, thankful that we are in Your presence, our Creator – just simply to be a soul in Your presence and give our hearts to You!
HYMN 1 - 1040
Come Now Is the time to worship
1 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord;
let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation.
2 Let us come before him with thanksgiving
and extol him with music and song.
3 For the Lord is the great God,
the great King above all gods.
4 In his hand are the depths of the earth,
and the mountain peaks belong to him.
5 The sea is his, for he made it,
and his hands formed the dry land.
6 Come, let us bow down in worship,
let us kneel before the Lord our Maker;
7 for he is our God
and we are the people of his pasture,
the flock under his care.
Today, if only you would hear his voice
HYMN 2 – 496 – Tess. O for a thousand tongues to sing.
In the Mission Praise songbook it is suggested for Health, Healing & Deliverance so I thought a good one for this season of thanksgiving, our survival of Covid etc.
Also, because I love it!
Psalm 69: verse 30
'I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving.'
Lord, thank you that I can come before You with joyful songs. All the earth will shout for joy to Your name! I praise You today because You have wonderfully created me in Your image. You are my Good Shepherd, and You will lead and direct my life.
Charles and his brother, John, became friends with a group of Moravian Christians as they returned by ship to England from the American colonies. One of the Moravian leaders was a man named Peter Bohler -- a man that the Wesleys much admired for his deep faith. Bohler made the comment, "Oh, Brother Wesley, the Lord has done so much for my life. Had I a thousand tongues, I would praise Christ Jesus with every one of them." Those words inspired Wesley to write this hymn.
HYMN 3 – 122 – Janet. Eternal Father Strong To Save.
Verse 1 refers to God the Father forbidding the waters to flood the earth 5 He set the earth on its foundations; 6 You covered it with the watery depths as with a garment; the waters stood above the mountains. 7 But at your rebuke the waters fled, at the sound of your thunder they took to flight; 8 they flowed over the mountains, they went down into the valleys, to the place you assigned for them. 9 You set a boundary they cannot cross; never again will they cover the earth. Verse 2 refers to Jesus’ miracles of stilling a storm and walking on the waters of the Sea of Galilee
23 Then he got into the boat and his disciples followed him. 24 Suddenly a furious storm came up on the lake, so that the waves swept over the boat. But Jesus was sleeping. 25 The disciples went and woke him, saying, “Lord, save us! We’re going to drown!”
26 He replied, “You of little faith, why are you so afraid?” Then he got up and rebuked the winds and the waves, and it was completely calm.
27 The men were amazed and asked, “What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey him!”
Verse 3 references the Holy Spirit’s role in the creation of the earth
1 In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. 2 Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.
Verse 4 refers to Psalm 107
23 Some went out on the sea in ships;
they were merchants on the mighty waters.
24 They saw the works of the Lord,
his wonderful deeds in the deep.
25 For he spoke and stirred up a tempest
that lifted high the waves.
26 They mounted up to the heavens and went down to the depths;
in their peril their courage melted away.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards;
they were at their wits’ end.
28 Then they cried out to the Lord in their trouble,
and he brought them out of their distress.
29 He stilled the storm to a whisper;
the waves of the sea[a] were hushed.
30 They were glad when it grew calm,
and he guided them to their desired haven.
31 Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love
and his wonderful deeds for mankind.
32 Let them exalt him in the assembly of the people
and praise him in the council of the elders.
HYMN 4 – 674 – Marie-Helene. There is a Green Hill far away.
Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-95) was the composer of this extremely popular hymn,
Cecile was a Victorian Irish hymn writer who wrote over 200 hymns, characterised by their ability to ‘make theology picturesque’
She apparently drew her inspiration from caring for children and the sick.
Cecile had such great passion for children, to the extent that the proceeds from her hymn book went toward a school for deaf and mute children, which initially met in a small building on the grounds of her family’s property
She married Rev. William Alexander in 1850, he was a rector in, County Tyrone, Ireland.
Her beloved husband survived her by nearly sixteen years, but he was always proud to be known as the husband of the great hymn writer and this hymn was sung at his graveside.
Her work was also born out of a personal commitment to Christ-like service toward others.
She was remembered for carrying soup and other nourishment to the sick and poor in the most remote parts of the parish
She sent a man to school whose education had been somewhat neglected in his youth, and gave him a weekly allowance towards his maintenance out of her own pocket, and when he had made sufficient progress she found an appointment for him as a national school teacher.
As it was written in her hymn, she trusted in His redeeming blood, and tried his works to do.
So in 1848, while living in County Tyrone she published a set of hymns, and three in particular: were inspired from the Apostles Creed
“All things bright and beautiful” links to the creed with “Maker of heaven and earth”),
“Once in royal David’s city” links into “Conceived by the Holy Spirit,”
and “There is a green hill far away” (which links to how Jesus “Suffered under Pontius Pilate,” ).
The green hill is Calvary, far away in both time and geography and Cecile would often pass by a green hill between her home and Derry, and she associated it with what Calvary might look like.
She summarized the thoughts behind her hymn as:
Lord Jesus took the sinners place.
The sinless Christ willingly carried His Cross to that "green hill far away".
He faced the sinner's penalty - Unparalleled suffering at the hands of men!
Unimaginable suffering at the hands of God! "What pains He had to bear!" He paid the sinner's price In the darkness of Calvary, at infinite cost, He 'paid the price of sin' and three days later He rose again.
Jesus did so much for us– but there is something that we must do and that’s to respond to His love: "We must love Him too". and
"Trust in His redeeming blood." because
"He died to save us all",
"There is a Green Hill" – is a hymn that tells an old, but real story.
Its good to sing and reflect on the words.
Its good to know the meaning.
But best of all, it’s so good to know the Lord Jesus as our Saviour.
So let’s stand to say together and share the beliefs and truths of our faith in the words of the
I believe in God, the Father almighty, creator of Heaven and Earth.
I believe in Jesus Christ, his only Son, our Lord,
who was conceived by the Holy Spirit, born of the Virgin Mary,
suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, died and was buried;
He descended to the dead.
On the third day He rose again; He ascended into Heaven,
He is seated at the right hand of the Father, and He will come to judge the living and the dead.
I believe in the Holy Spirit, the holy catholic Church,
the communion of saints, the forgiveness of sins,
the resurrection of the body, and the life everlasting. AMEN
HYMN 5 – 435 – Lord Jesus Christ. Trevor’s choice leads us beautifully on from this
You have come to us, born as one of us, Mary’s son.
HYMN 6 – 249 – How lovely on the mountains. Charlotte & Martin’s choice
Of course words straight from Isaiah 52
7 How lovely on the mountains Are the feet of him who brings good news, Who announces peace And brings good news of happiness, Who announces salvation, And says to Zion, "Your God reigns!"
8 Listen! Your watchmen lift up their voices, They shout joyfully together; For they will see with their own eyes When the LORD restores Zion.
9 Break forth, shout joyfully together, You waste places of Jerusalem; For the LORD has comforted His people, He has redeemed Jerusalem.
10 The LORD has bared His holy arm In the sight of all the nations, That all the ends of the earth may see The salvation of our God.
HYMN 7 – 907 – O God of Bethel. Neil’s choice.
10 Jacob left Beersheba and set out for Harran. 11 When he reached a certain place, he stopped for the night because the sun had set. Taking one of the stones there, he put it under his head and lay down to sleep. 12 He had a dream in which he saw a stairway resting on the earth, with its top reaching to heaven, and the angels of God were ascending and descending on it. 13 There above it[c] stood the Lord, and he said: “I am the Lord, the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac. I will give you and your descendants the land on which you are lying. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, and you will spread out to the west and to the east, to the north and to the south. All peoples on earth will be blessed through you and your offspring.[d] 15 I am with you and will watch over you wherever you go, and I will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you.”
Our vows, and our prayers we now present before God’s throne of grace
LISTENING - I give you all the honour
Lord we do indeed give You all the honour and praise and we thank You that You call us to You.
We pray for our church here in Mirepoix, asking for Your Holy Spirit to move upon every one of us as we work to do Your will, to spread Your kingdom here in this town and build Your church. We pray for Martin and Charlotte, and for the Co-ordinating group, praying especially for the next meeting taking place in a few days..
Lord In Your Mercy – Hear our prayer
Father God I want to pray and lift up to you some of the business owners here in this town where we meet every week - praying for Gabriel as he recovers from his illness, for Christophe as he tries to build his business, for David who needs some of your wisdom, for Julie as she tries to bring together activities within the community of this town, for the Maire - for his responsibilities, asking for wisdom to guide the changes he is organizing which are often questioned and challenged. For Sebastien as he battles with the issues that surround him
Lord in your mercy – Hear our prayer
And we take a few moments of silence as we name anyone on our hearts who is in need of your love, your healing and your grace
Lord in Your mercy – hear our prayer
We Say together the LORD’S PRAYER
Our Father, who art in heaven,
Hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come;
Thy will be done; on Earth as it is in Heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our trespasses,
as we forgive those who trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.
For Thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory,
for ever and ever. Amen
HYMN 8 – 445 - Shine Jesus Shine. Pam’s Choice
Shine Jesus Shine!
From Mattthew 5:14-16
“You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven
The Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with us all ever more. Amen