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Two More Songs Singing Me

Sunday morning, 9 October 2011

Flowers Along the Occoquan River

Flowers Along the Occoquan. (Part of worship is stopping to enjoy and give thanks for God's handiwork.)

Volunteering, as I have been, on the NationalPrayerChapel.com website over the weekend, has an unexpected perquisite—waking up each morning in Pastor Ray Greenley’s guest bedroom with a clear view of the thin golden hair of pre-dawn light silhouetting the horizon across the Occoquan River. After I’ve dressed in the dark and finished my hour of Scripture reading, I can steal off for a prayer walk along the Occoquan.

Two songs have been “singing me” me this morning.  (Those of you who have read my blog post, A Song Singing Me, will understand.)  The first song arose within my heart from the moment my eyelids popped open, and second one was triggered in my spirit by the sight of ascending “Brother Sun” (as St. Francis of Assisi called it) and the sound of a V-wing of Canada geese trumpeting through the airspace. There’s a kid-tempting short wall with a wide cap; it winds around the entire marina, separating the sidewalk from the water. Such a “temptation” isn’t sin at all, so I hopped up on the wall, promenading and perambulating the perimeter (say that fast three times!)—coming and going. Speaking of perks, being a child of God affords the benefit of enjoying a happy fit of childlikeness now and then.

Now as for those songs that were singing me, I’ll share the first verse or so of each, and link to the complete poem for those readers with an interest. The first one is:

When morning gilds the skies,
My heart awaking cries,
“May Jesus Christ be praised!”
Alike at work and prayer,
To Jesus I repair.
May Jesus Christ be praised!

When you begin the day,
O never fail to say,
“May Jesus Christ be praised!”
And at your work rejoice,
To sing with heart and voice,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

No one seems to know the name of the original German lyricist, but the English translation is the inspired work of Edward Caswall. This link—When Morning Gilds the Skiestakes you to the full text of the poem.

How wonderfully the Spirit themes this morning! The second anthem, which intertwined with the first, flowed originally from the heart of St. Francis of Assisi, and was equally appropriate to my waterside worship:

All creatures of our God and King,
Lift up your voice and with us sing,
“Alleluia! Alleluia!”
Thou burning sun with golden beam,
Thou silver moon with softer gleam,

O praise Him!
O praise Him!

My memory may be faulty, but as I recall, in the original Latin of All Creatures of Our God and King, the references in the first verse are actually to Brother Sun and Sister Moon, from which the old cinematic biography of St. Francis took its title.

Anyway, a great day of ministry often begins with a great time of ministering to the Lord, and the best ministry to the Lord usually flows from whatever songs the Holy Spirit has “singing me” in my heart.  As you love and learn the old hymns, may you find more of them singing you, too!  “May Jesus Christ be praised,” indeed!

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