Today we went to a Southwestern Baptist Convention church. They had a small orchestra, and a large white overhead screen both at the front of the church (so the congregation could see it), but also at the back (so the minister, worship leader, singers, and choir) would know exactly what was being displayed behind them and above their heads.
What a great idea!
I was touched by the worship, especially the "old hymns". Even though I write what I consider to be contemporary Christian music, I find a lot of what is put out today very forgettable. It seems that the shelf life of a contemporary Christian song is about one month. (Except for songs like Matt Redman's Blessed Be the Name. They opened and closed with it -- what a great song from a great contemporary Christian song-writer.)
The song that touched me was Fairest Lord Jesus. Now there's a song that can really inspire worship; it's about Jesus, not about "me", or "us", or my or our feelings -- it points to Him, the One who sits far above every principality, every power (yet who stooped so low to lift us so high); the One who tasted death so we could taste eternal life; the One who is incomparably better, brighter, purer, than you or I could ever hope to be apart from Him.
According to cyberhymnal.com, the words to Fairest Lord Jesus were written by German Jesuits as Schönster Herr Jesu in the 17th Century. Published in the Münster Gesangbuch, 1677, and translated from German to Engish by Joseph A. Seiss, 1873. The music is a Crusader’s Hymn Sile folk song from Schlesische Volkslieder, 1842; arranged by Richard S. Willis, 1850.
Here it is:
Fairest Lord Jesus, Ruler of all nature,
O Thou of God and man the Son,
Thee will I cherish, Thee will I honor,
Thou, my soul’s glory, joy and crown.
Fair are the meadows, fairer still the woodlands,
Robed in the blooming garb of spring;
Jesus is fairer, Jesus is purer,
Who makes the woeful heart to sing.
Fair is the sunshine,
Fairer still the moonlight,
And all the twinkling starry host;
Jesus shines brighter, Jesus shines purer
Than all the angels heaven can boast.
All fairest beauty, heavenly and earthly,
Wondrously, Jesus, is found in Thee;
None can be nearer, fairer or dearer,
Than Thou, my Savior, art to me.
Beautiful Savior! Lord of all the nations!
Son of God and Son of Man!
Glory and honor, praise, adoration,
Now and forever more be Thine.
When I was in university, and in the process of becoming a Christian, I found myself attracted to the Person of Jesus Christ. I am still attracted to Him, and as my understanding of who he is and what he did for us grows, my adoration of Him continues to grow.
When I was a young Christian, I dreamed of all that I might do for Jesus. As I grow older, I think more about what He has done for me. And, when I meet Him face to face, I look forward to saying just about the only thing I can say, which is:
And that's the way the Ball bounces.