Psalms and Hymns and Spiritual Songs

For a while the staff has talked about providing more content to our website, which provides me a special opportunity to share some of the things that I dearly love, namely, our “psalms and hymns and spiritual songs” (Ephesians 5:19). My plan is to provide encouragement, information and inspiration from what we sing so that those songs will more personally affect your worship.

At our community Palm Sunday service, sponsored but the Harriman Music Club, we sang a simple yet familiar hymn, Come Christians Join to Sing. A perfect place to start our series.

"Come, Christians, join to sing Alleluia! Amen!
Loud praise to Christ our King; Alleluia! Amen!
Let all, with heart and voice, Before His throne rejoice;
 Praise is His gracious choice.Alleluia! Amen!
Come, lift your hearts on high, Alleluia! Amen!
Let praises fill the sky; Alleluia! Amen!
He is our Guide and Friend; To us He’ll condescend;
His love shall never end. Alleluia! Amen!
Praise yet our Christ again, Alleluia! Amen!
Life shall not end the strain; Alleluia! Amen!
On heaven’s blissful shore, His goodness we’ll adore,
Singing forevermore, “Alleluia! Amen!”

First of all, I encourage you “Come to Sing!" Come into worship with the intention of singing. The title is not, “Come Christians Join to LISTEN.” You have a wonderful responsibility to physically participate in the corporate worship of your God. You can proclaim as in the song, “Alleluia! Amen”. That is to say “Praise the Lord” “Indeed” . “God inhabits the praises of His people” so take the opportunity praise Him audibly with your voice. Nobody else can do that for you. Sing to your God “Alleluia! Amen!"

Encourage one another in the faith. We are blessed in this country that we are not alone in our faith. We have the privilege of being able to join with the family of God on a regular basis. Each week we are going to lift our voice together and to encourage one another as well. We exhort the body to “ Let all with heart and voice, before the throne rejoice”  and to “let praises fill the sky” “Alleluia! Amen!”

As we sing the middle stanza we focus on some of the attributes of the one we worship. Christ is our “guide” as well as our “Friend”.  I found the phrase “To us He’ll condescend. “ a little unusual so I had to think on it a while. In our world the term condescend has a negative connotation. We think of the term as having to do with an air of superiority. However in this case it means to waive the privileges of rank.  Which is what Christ did in being God and taking the form of a man to bring to us salvation. "The word became flesh and dwelt among us" (John 1:14).  To that we sing “Alleluia! Amen!”

Then there’s the “heaven stanza” . It says “Life shall not end the strain” . Our songs, our praises our rejoicing will not end just because this earthly body quits working. We, as the children of God will have an eternity to praise him “Singing forever more.” So It’s about time we got started!

So…..“Come Christians Join to Sing Alleluia! Amen!”

-Sam Leslie, Music Minister