The Prince of Glory Died

Good Friday, indeed! The world had never seen another like it nor would it ever see one again. What parody, what lunacy is this? That the perfect one should become sin, that Almighty God should be killed by His creation? Indeed, what God would deign to die for His little clay figurines after they had purposely disobeyed His law times without number?  What kind of God would allow worms to nail Him to a wooden tree with never a word of protest? What kind of God would forgive the scum that yelled profanities and curses at Him no matter that His agony was already great? What kind of God would be willing to become so vile in His Father's sight that He must turn His face away from Him? "Well, might the sun in darkness hide, and shut its glories in, when Christ, The mighty maker died for man, the creature's sin!"
 No God of our invention, certainly!  Our God turns things on their heads, He does the unexpected and His acts are incomprehensible to us "mere mortals"!    When we think of a God, we turn our thoughts to the physical qualities; Can He rule the entire world? Can he do anything He likes? Can He read our thoughts? 
 We forget that "He who ruleth his Spirit is greater than the mighty and he who controls his anger is greater than he who captures a city!"  We forget that "Love never fails" and "Greater love hath no man than this, that he lays his life down for his friends!"   Indeed, God is Omnipotent, Omnipresent and has ALL power and dominion and authority before all time, now and forever. But I want, right now, for us to think about how much greater those "non physical" qualities are! How many of us can hear someone snicker about our faith and not start feeling a "holier than thou" attitude rise up in our hearts? How many of us can have some one spit in our face and not feel an incredible urge to punch him in the face?  How many of us can listen to our words, twisted to make us sound bad and not speak a word in our own defense knowing that it will do no good? How many of us can say truly and with a pure heart, "I love you!" to one who has done everything in his power to show us that he hates us and you know he will probably slap you in the face if you do say it? 
 We underestimate the greatness of the Love Christ had for us! We do not fully understand the power it takes to do what he did! We talk about Him being silent before His accusers, without a thought. If you have ever gotten into a fight with a sibling and then brought before a parent and asked each to explain what happened, you may now how hard it can be to keep from interrupting the other while he twists the story to his own advantage and your detriment, now perhaps you will do the same come your turn but at least you know that you will have a chance to say something and know that justice will be administered. Imagine if you weren't before justice and you knew you would not be believed though you spoke the truth! Indeed, when with a word he could have summoned ten legions of angels, which, by the way, is a temptation none of us could have resisted, yet His love was so great, He chose to deny His own nature and bear on His back the weight of numberless transgressions for His own ungrateful rebellious creatures!
        What wondrous love is this?
  Nothing from this planet!

  I have a song I want to share with you all to day in light of this momentous day! "Alas, and did my Saviour bleed?"  
  I think we all know the traditional tune but I wanted to share this beautiful arrangement with you today. I usually don't like people tampering around with the traditional hymn tunes, but I think this tune accurately conveys the message of Watt's hymn in a truly majestic arrangement. Note the rich, contrasting harmonies and the crisp pronunciation of the words. Truly a masterpiece!
 Also, the first verse has been changed. I couldn't find a version without it but I will share the original lines below. I guess people don't like calling themselves worms, but I think we really are as worms in God's sight! To use "worm", highlights the contrast and shows how mighty was the gulf that God did span at Calvary!
Alas! and did my Savior bleed
And did my Sovereign die?
Would He devote that sacred head
For such a worm as I?

Thy body slain, sweet Jesus, Thine—
And bathed in its own blood—
While the firm mark of wrath divine,
His Soul in anguish stood.

Was it for crimes that I had done
He groaned upon the tree?
Amazing pity! grace unknown!
And love beyond degree!

Well might the sun in darkness hide
And shut his glories in,
When Christ, the mighty Maker died,
For man the creature’s sin.

Thus might I hide my blushing face
While His dear cross appears,
Dissolve my heart in thankfulness,
And melt my eyes to tears.

But drops of grief can ne’er repay
The debt of love I owe:
Here, Lord, I give my self away
’Tis all that I can do.

Indeed, 'tis all that I can do! May you give yourself away to Him fully, this day as we remember that great sacrifice!

With Palms Before Thee Went

I completely forgot about Palm Sunday until today; not  that I forgot it was happening but it never occurred to me that it would be nice to post about it!
 At first I thought, "All Glory Laud and Honor", of course, I should have no problem finding a video, right? Wrong! I spent half my afternoon searching for a simple arrangement with only the three verses and nothing else. Couldn't find a thing; either the verses were all mixed up or the choristers waving their palm branches, and the priests swinging their censors and waving their crosses, were simply too distracting, or it was a medley with another song, or the words were unintelligible, or, as was most common, all of those at once!
 Finally I gave it up! I have an excellent recording of it on a CD which is next on my list of songs to post on youtube, but I haven't done it yet, being that I still have to create a slide for it and write out all the words. So I will instead share with you my previous youtube project which is also a "Palm Sunday song". 
  "Come Ye Faithful, Raise The Strain"

After I reviewed this one, I decided that I like it better right now, (granted, listening to the same song over several times will make any other song seem attractive!)
   The song, is a call to believers to come and sing of Christ and His great works. In the first verse the writer, John of Damascus(696-754), speaks of God's works in Israel when He led them from Egypt.
 He goes on to describe how our sins flew from the light of Christ's resurrection on that Easter morning. In verse three, he relates Jesus' coming to Jerusalem, and, in verse four, His triumph and power over death!
Come, ye faithful, raise the strain of triumphant gladness;
God hath brought forth Israel into joy from sadness;
Loosed from Pharaoh’s bitter yoke Jacob’s sons and daughters,
Led them with unmoistened foot through the Red Sea waters.

’Tis the spring of souls today; Christ has burst His prison,
And from three days’ sleep in death as a sun hath risen;
All the winter of our sins, long and dark, is flying
From His light, to Whom we give laud and praise undying.

Now the queen of seasons, bright with the day of splendor,
With the royal feast of feasts, comes its joy to render;
Comes to glad Jerusalem, who with true affection
Welcomes in unwearied strains Jesus’ resurrection.

Neither might the gates of death, nor the tomb’s dark portal,
Nor the watchers, nor the seal hold Thee as a mortal;
But today amidst the twelve Thou didst stand, bestowing
That Thy peace which evermore passeth human knowing.

The tune in the video above was the oldest tune Ave Vir­go Vir­gin­um, written in the fifteen hundreds by Johann Roh, but when Arthur S. Sullivan wrote "St. Kevin" in the eighteen hundreds, this tune became the most popular and is the one you'll find first if you search youtube! This tune is lovely as well, but I prefer the former, perhaps because that is the one I grew up with! but if you would like to hear "St. Kevin", here is a link to it,  .
  Once more, I beg your pardon for my tardiness and wish you a wonderful Resurrection day!  What a glorious Lord we have, "Lowly and humble, seated on a donkey, even the foal of a beast of burden!"
                                           Fear Not Oh Daughter Of Zion!  
Your King Is Coming!