there are few things that can match the beauty of believers joining together, rising to their feet in praise, holding up their hymnals, and lifting their voices and hearts to their Lord in worship.  the notes wafting upward toward the Throne as smoke from the offering.  the sweet perfume of the saints.  such a holy fragrance.  i revel in these moments spent with the family of God as we come together in unity to acknowledge our humanity and proclaim His holiness.  singing those precious words of old - that never grow old.  it is wondrous how the Holy Spirit infuses ancient texts and sacred lyrics with vibrancy afresh. these words were capitivating to me as i read the text, absorbed the depth of meaning, and affirmed it aloud with the congregation. let us mediate on this hymn of the faith.

God of grace and God of glory, on Thy people pour Thy power. crown Thine ancient church’s story, bring her bud to glorious flower. grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the facing of this hour, for the facing of this hour.

lo! the hosts of evil ’round us, scorn Thy Christ, assail His ways. from the fears that long have bound us, free our hearts to faith and praise. grant us wisdom, grant us courage, for the living of these days, for the living of these days.

cure Thy children’s warring madness, bend our pride to Thy control. shame our wanton selfish gladness, rich in things and poor in soul. grant us wisdom, grant us courage, lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal, lest we miss Thy kingdom’s goal.

set our feet on lofty places, gird our lives that they may be, armored with all Christ-like graces, in the fight to set men free. grant us wisdom, grant us courage, that we fail not man nor Thee, that we fail not man nor Thee.

save us from weak resignation, to the evils we deplore. let the search for Thy salvation, be our glory evermore. grant us wisdom, grant us courage, serving Thee whom we adore, serving Thee whom we adore.

Lord, please cure my warring madness. bend my pride to your control and shame my wanton selfish gladness. free my heart from the fears that long have bound me. give me to view a discovered sinfulness, to know that though my sins are crucified they are never wholly mortified. let me not be rich in things and poor in soul. set my feet on lofty places and remind me that my citizenship is in heaven. help me to be effectual while on this earth yet always being mindful that i am but a sojourner on this earth - making my way home. let me not miss Your kingdom's goal.  amen.