Glory Bound – Lent 7

Lent Letterpress

My Southern Baptist roots often come back to haunt me and I welcome their grasp of my wayward soul.

While a devout Anglican, my faith runs deep through years worshipping at a Baptist Church where attendance was mandatory if the doors were open. I loved it. I loved everything about it. Sermons, fellowship, worship, prayer, but most of all, hymns. The hymns of faith are simply things of beauty and wonder.

For me, music is a quick route to my soul. Music resonates deep within me. Music must be important to God who exhorts us to make a joyful noise and promises a heaven beyond our wildest dreams. Revelation 14:2 tells us: “And I heard a sound from heaven like the roar of rushing waters and like a loud peal of thunder. The sound I heard was like that of harpists playing their harps.”

Music, sweet music will be a part of my heaven.

My father and I loved “fifth Sunday sings”. This is a Sunday where the church sings the old, old stories and hymns that have been passed down for generations for the entire music-filled service. I never missed a chance to attend these special church events.

Even now, as I drift off to sleep, I hear the sound of a train whistle in the distance and I find myself singing “This Train is Bound for Glory” before I kiss the night goodbye. A train whistle in the dark reminds me that my life has purpose and through the grace of God I will someday lay my burden down and board that train.

I will then make a joyful song for all eternity. An eternal fifth Sunday sing. Hallelujah!

“Glory Bound”

When I hear that trumpet sound
I will lay my burdens down
I will lay them deep into the ground
Then I’ll know that I am glory bound

I’ll be travelling far from home
But I won’t be looking for to roam
I’ll be crossing o’er the great divide
In a better home soon I will reside

Hallelujah

When I’m in my resting place
I’ll look on my mother’s face
Never more will I have to know
All the loneliness that plagues me so

So I’m waiting for that train to come
And I know where she’s coming from
Listen can you hear her on the track
When I board I won’t be looking back

Hallelujah

The Wailin’ Jennnys

Tell me the old, old story…

IMG_4117

I love singing hymns in church. But, I truly love old hymns…the standards of our faith.

I was baptized in the Episcopal and Baptist churches but I was raised a Southern Baptist. However, I returned to the Anglican faith many years ago where I enjoy the smells, bells and liturgy of the more solemn high church. My son-in-law is a die-hard Baptist and will be till the Lord calls him home. I can respect that. We both have our convictions. We both enjoy our church “home”.

The one thing we do share without question is our love for hymns. It’s not just the old standards but also the hymns sung up to and including the more contemporary songs enjoyed by many churches.

It often goes back to our conviction about organized religion.

I have debated the merits of one “religion” over another with priests and pastors throughout the years. Some are convinced that their brand is the “one true church” and holds the promise for salvation. I disagree.

Here is what I believe: I believe in Jesus Christ. I believe especially in His word…”Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me”. John 14:6

There is no one true church. There is only one truth and that is that Jesus is the way to salvation and grace. Whether you enjoy it in a formal high church or in a contemporary worship service is irrelevant. Whether you speak in tongues or you sit quietly without movement. It’s really all about Jesus.

Music simple serves as a portal to our souls and enhances our worship experience. That is one thing on which we can all agree.

 

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee;

Let the water and the blood,

From Thy wounded side which flowed,

Be of sin the double cure;

Save from wrath and make me pure.

 

Not the labor of my hands

Can fulfill Thy law’s demands;

Could my zeal no respite know,

Could my tears forever flow,

All for sin could not atone;

Thou must save, and Thou alone.

 

Nothing in my hand I bring,

Simply to the cross I cling;

Naked, come to Thee for dress;

Helpless look to Thee for grace;

Foul, I to the fountain fly;

Wash me, Savior, or I die.

 

While I draw this fleeting breath,

When mine eyes shall close in death,

[originally When my eye-strings break in death]

When I soar to worlds unknown,

See Thee on Thy judgment throne,

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,

Let me hide myself in Thee.

 

Rock of Ages

By: Augustus Toplady

1776