Let them know me not for my mind
Or my manners. Keep from them all
Tendency to love my name (kind
Flattery). Their praise is my fall,
For I know my heart enough to
Predict its vain response. They call
For me, and I shamefully do
All that I can to earn their awe.
I must decrease. I must decrease,
For I, though only briefly, saw
Your glory. Arrogance must cease,
For you alone warrant all fear
And worship. You who dwell above
Creation yet art ever near,
You meet us with your perfect love.
I am undone. Let me then be
A humble vessel. Let my boast
Be only of your grace to me.
O Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
This clay can claim no title. You
Alone are worthy. Let all eyes
That look on me always see through
And your great glory recognize.
Be evident in all I do.
Photo by Simon Migaj on Unsplash
Have you ever felt that you could not, in good conscience, sing a specific worship song?
As the band played one of the first songs of the evening session and the conference attendees sang along in worship, we noticed the fire alarm.
We may not sense the abnormality,
For our appearance does not show the flaw;
But let us look within and we will see
A core not in accord with natural law.
Our symptoms show themselves in varied ways,
Outward effects which hint at inner fault.
All people, fixed and fallen, offer praise,
But differ in the objects they exalt.
And thus most men believe that they are whole,
For they, with eyes untrained, cannot detect
The devastating sickness in the soul
Which works to their eternity infect.
Our only hope is heaven’s holy art,
The surgeon who can fix a backwards heart.
Photo by Samuel Zeller on Unsplash
Merge with the ongoing chorus;
Introduce the new refrain:
Jesus Christ our Lord died for us!
Magnify the Lamb once slain!
God has lifted up the faces
Of the weary, weak, and worn.
By his grace, they bear no traces
Of their death. In him, tis shorn.
Praise, oh praise his name, O people,
From this moment evermore.
Lowest valley, highest steeple –
Likewise heed the holy roar.
Who is like the Lord Almighty,
God above what eyes can see,
Never fickle, never flighty,
Constant through eternity?
Sacrifices are vices unless
True conviction accomp’nies the gift.
Heartless rituals will never bless,
Nor can they ever mend the great rift.
We feign well true repentance and faith,
Rending garments but never the heart.
Ev’ry prophet who preaches, “Thus saith,”
We deny with a devilish art.
Lest we follow destruction’s wide path,
Let us perish the heart’s apathy.
Learn the weight of the Lord’s love and wrath,
And, by his grace alone, let us see.
We are a people prone to adulation
Who often are audacious with our praise.
Provoking conflagration, we
Resist all abrogation. See!
The idols are the masters of our days.
Such worship is a devastating blaze.
Idolatry is no anachronism;
All ages suffer its asperity.
Discern the serpent’s schism. See
The apposite baptism. We
Reject apocryphal authority
And trade acerbic lies for clarity.
Focus me to fear your name,
Lord of glory, sacred flame.
You are good; you are not tame.
All creation is your claim.
I, mere man, before you fall,
You: eternal God of all.
Unto you I humbly call
For I know that I am small.
Source of all things pure and true,
Love and worship are my due:
All my life to honor you.
Let my words be wise and few.
Make me, Lord, to know my end.
Let me never break or bend.
Let my focus now transcend.
Help me live the words here penned.