19 Speak to one another with psalms, hymns and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, 20 always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Methodist have a strong heritage of singing.
It is through the songs that we learn most of our theology.
That is why we take care to print our own hymnals,
why Wesley said learn these first.
Isaac Watts titles this hymn, “Heavenly Joy on Earth” i
It is in keeping with Paul’s words to Ephesus and us, to greet each other with the joy of heaven here on earth… this is our source, our call, our task:
732. Come, We That Love the Lord
Text: Isaac Watts “Heavenly Joy on Earth”
1. Come, we that love the Lord,
and let our joys be known;
join in a song with sweet accord,
and thus surround the throne.
2. Let those refuse to sing
who never knew our God;
but children of the heavenly King
may speak their joys abroad.
3. The hill of Zion yields
a thousand sacred sweets
before we reach the heavenly fields,
or walk the golden streets.
4. Then let our songs abound,
and every tear be dry;
we’re marching through Emmanuel’s ground,
to fairer worlds on high.
Paul’s instruction was to sing Melodies,
Sing those songs that are simple enough to remember and get stuck in your head.
Luther B. Bridgers wrote the words and melody shortly after the greatest tragedy of his life.
A native of North Carolina, he began preaching at the age of seventeen. After seminary He married and had three sons.
In Harrodsburg, Kentucky, during the night, a neighbor noticed fire shooting from the house and ran to waken the family. The parents were roused in time, but Luther’s wife and boys could not be reached in the swiftly mounting flames. During his darkest hours of greif, came the inspiration for these words: All four died. He later remarried and retired in Georgia.
There’s Within My Heart a Melody
There’s within my heart a melody
Jesus whispers sweet and low,
“Fear not I am with thee,
Peace, be still In all of life’s ebb and flow.”
Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,
Sweetest name I know
Fills my every longing,
Keeps me singing as I go.
Paul’s call to the church as Ephesus was to be a people who SING… all sing,
My grand father was one of those who stood and read the words, but I never heard him sing, not in church, not with the radio, but he loved to listen..
One Sunday I told him we would never get to a 1000 if he didn’t sing. I mubbled along the classic Methodist hymn: O For a Thousand Tongues to Sing
This is a truly Methodist hymn. Charles Wesley was suffering a bout of pleurisy in May, 1738, At the time, Wesley was plagued by extreme doubts about his faith. Taken to bed with the sickness on May 21 Wesley was attended by a group of Christians who offered him testimony and basic care, and he was deeply affected by this. He read from his Bible and found himself deeply affected by the words, and at peace with God. Shortly his strength began to return. He wrote of this experience in his journal and counted it as a renewal of his faith:
One year from the experience, Wesley was taken with the urge to write another hymn, in commemoration of his renewal of faith. This hymn took the form of an 18-stanza poem, beginning with the opening lines ‘Glory to God, and praise, and love,/Be ever, ever given’ and was published in 1740 and entitled ‘For the anniversary day of one’s conversion’. The seventh verse, which begins, ‘O For A Thousand Tongues To Sing’, and which recalls the words of Peter Böhler who said, ‘Had I a thousand tongues I would praise Him with them all.’ The hymn was placed first in John Wesley’s A Collection of Hymns for the People Called Methodists published in 1780. It appeared first in every (Wesleyan) Methodist hymnal from that time until the publication of Hymns and Psalms in 1983
Singing keeps up close to God.. if you have the name of God on your lips, Christ in your heart and the spirit entering with every breath… it is easier to stay close to God and to lead others to faith and hope.
So often out of our tragedy and weak moments, God speak words of comfort, listen and you will have a message to share and that will lift your own heart!
Near to the Heart of God
Cleland McAfee was living in Chicago when one day he received word that his two nieces had both died from diphtheria, and within twenty-four hours of each other. He was a Presbyterian minister, and the only place where he could find solace from his grief was in the verses found in the book of the Psalms. As he meditated on these verses he also wrote the words and the tune to the hymn, “Near to the Heart of God.” At the funeral McAfee sang the hymn for the first time.
My favorite hymn : “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing”:
is a Christian hymn composed by the 18th century Methodist pastor and hymnist Robert Robinson. The hymn is set to an American folk tune known as Nettleton, by attribution to the evangelist Asahel Nettleton who composed it early in the nineteenth century. Robinson penned the words at age 22 in the year 1757.
For me, sums up the other hymns and the vs 19 from Eph 5.
1. Come, Thou Fount of every blessing,
Tune my heart to sing Thy grace;
Streams of mercy, never ceasing,
Call for songs of loudest praise.
Teach me some melodious sonnet,
Sung by flaming tongues above.
Praise the mount! I’m fixed upon it,
Mount of Thy redeeming love.
• 2. Sorrowing I shall be in spirit, Till released from flesh and sin, Yet from what I do inherit, Here Thy praises I’ll begin; Here I raise my Ebenezer; Here by Thy great help I’ve come; And I hope, by Thy good pleasure, Safely to arrive at home.
• 3. Jesus sought me when a stranger, Wandering from the fold of God; He, to rescue me from danger, Interposed His precious blood; How His kindness yet pursues me Mortal tongue can never tell, Clothed in flesh, till death shall loose me I cannot proclaim it well.
4. O to grace how great a debtor
Daily I’m constrained to be!
Let Thy goodness, like a fetter,
Bind my wandering heart to Thee.
Prone to wander, Lord, I feel it,
Prone to leave the God I love;
Here’s my heart, O take and seal it,
Seal it for Thy courts above.
• that day when freed from sinning, I shall see Thy lovely face; Clothed then in blood washed linen How I’ll sing Thy sovereign grace; Come, my Lord, no longer tarry, Take my ransomed soul away; Send thine angels now to carry Me to realms of endless day.
Sing when you feel the lowest low, the highest high and sing until Christ comes in the sky.