Friday, June 19, 2015

"Then let our songs abound"

I have the responsibility of planning worship for our small congregation in the month of June. I decided to do a series of services that each week used hymns by a single writer. We have already done services using hymns by William Cowper and John Newton. Tomorrow it will be Isaac Watts based on a 1948 200th anniversary commemoration of his death. My Skaggs grandfather apparently preserved the bulletin below. I have somewhat modified the service.

Call to Worship:
“Come, let us join our cheerful songs
With angels round the throne;
Ten thousand thousand are their tongues
But all their joys are one.”
Isaac Watts, 1707

Worship Theme:

“We worship and bow down before the Lord, Our Maker”

Meditation Verses: 
Bless the LORD, O my soul:
And all that is within me, bless his holy name.
Bless the LORD, O my soul,
And forget not all his benefits:
Enter into his gates with thanksgiving,
And into his courts with praise:
Be thankful unto him, and bless his name.
For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting;
And his truth endureth to all generations.
Psalm 103:1-2; 100:4-5

Hymn of Praise “From All That Dwell Below the Skies”  by Isaac Watts, 1707

From all that dwell below the skies,
Let the Creator’s praise arise;
Let the Redeemer’s name be sung,
Through every land, by every tongue. 
Eternal are Thy mercies, Lord;
Eternal truth attends Thy Word.
Thy praise shall sound from shore to shore,
Till suns rise and set no more.

Responsive Call to Prayer
Leader: O Come, let us worship and bow down: Let us kneel before the Lord, our Maker.
People: For He is the Lord, our God: and we are the people of His pasture, and the sheep of His hand.
Leader: Let us pray:
Almighty God, unto whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of Thy Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love Thee, and worthily magnify Thy holy Name, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose Name we pray:
Our Father, who art in Heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil. For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen.
Pulpit Reading: from Psalm 72
Give the king Thy judgments, O God, and Thy righteousness unto the king's son.
He shall judge Thy people with righteousness, and Thy poor with judgment.
They shall fear Thee as long as the sun and moon endure, throughout all generations.
He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth.
Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: All nations shall serve him.
His name shall endure forever: His name shall be continued as long as the sun:
And men shall be blessed in Him: All nations shall call Him blessed.
Blessed be the LORD God, the God of Israel, Who only doeth wondrous things.
And blessed be His glorious name for ever: And let the whole earth be filled with His glory;
Amen, and Amen.
Hymn of Old Testament Prophesy  “Jesus Shall Reign Where’Er the Sun”  by Isaac Watts, 1719

Jesus shall reign where’er the sun
Does his successive journeys run;
His kingdom stretch from shore to shore,    
Till moons shall wax and wane no more.
Blessings abound where’er He reigns;
The prisoner leaps to lose his chains;
The weary find eternal rest,
And all the sons of want are blessed.

To Him shall endless prayer be made,
And praises throng to crown His head;
His name like sweet perfume shall rise
With every morning sacrifice.

Let every creature rise and bring
Peculiar honors to our King;
Angels descend with songs again,
And earth repeat the loud amen!

People and realms of every tongue
Dwell on His love with sweetest song;
And infant voices shall proclaim
Their early blessings on His name.

Pulpit Reading: Galatians 5: 22-25
“…the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”
Hymn of New Testament Promise  “Come, Holy Spirit, Heavenly Dove”  by Isaac Watts, 1707

Come, Holy Spirit, heavenly Dove,   
With all Thy quick’ning powers;
Kindle a flame of sacred love
In these cold hearts of ours.
Dear Lord! and shall we ever live
At this poor dying rate?
Our love so faint, so cold to Thee,
And Thine to us so great?

Look how we grovel here below,
Fond of these trifling toys;
Our souls can neither fly nor go
To reach eternal joys.

Come, Holy Spirit, heav’nly Dove,
With all Thy quick’ning powers;
Come, shed abroad the Savior’s love
And that shall kindle ours.

In vain we tune our formal songs,
In vain we strive to rise;
Hosannas languish on our tongues,     
And our devotion dies.

God our Father, grant that Thy praises may evermore be enriched and made glorious by the songs of your people born of the Spirit. May we ever sing with gladness in our hearts because of the joy we have in Thee. Let Thy Spirit so dwell in the hearts of Thy people here and everywhere that we may truly and worthily give praise to Thee. Grant that all who here find joy in worshiping Thee may be numbered at last with those who will sing a new song before Thy heavenly throne; through Jesus Christ our Lord who liveth and reigneth with Thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
Congregational Response [tune: “Old St. Michael,”]
To God the Only wise,
Our Savior and our King,
Let all the saints below the skies
Their humble praises bring.
Isaac Watts, 1707

Pulpit Reading: Philippians 3: 7-10
But what things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ. Yea doubtless, and I count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord: for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, and be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith: That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death;
Hymn of Commitment   “When I Survey the Wondrous Cross”  by Isaac Watts, 1707

When I survey the wondrous cross
On which the Prince of glory died,
My richest gain I count but loss,
And pour contempt on all my pride.   
See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down!
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

Forbid it, Lord, that I should boast,
Save in the death of Christ my God!
All the vain things that charm me most,   
I sacrifice them to His blood.

Were the whole realm of nature mine,
That were a present far too small;
Love so amazing, so divine,
Demands my soul, my life, my all.

Pulpit Reading: Psalm 149: 1-6a
Praise ye the LORD.
Sing unto the LORD a new song,
and His praise in the congregation of saints.
Let Israel rejoice in Him that made him:
let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise His name in the dance:
let them sing praises unto Him
with the timbrel and harp.
For the LORD taketh pleasure in His people:
He will beautify the meek with salvation.
Let the saints be joyful in glory:
let them sing aloud upon their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth…
Hymn of Joyous Faith   “Come, Ye That Love the Lord”  by Isaac Watts, 1707

Come, ye that love the Lord,
And let our joys be known;
Join in a song with sweet accord,
And thus surround the throne.
The hill of Zion yields
A thousand sacred sweets
Before we reach the heavenly fields,
Or walk the golden streets.

Let those refuse to sing
Who never knew our God;
But children of the heavenly King      
May speak their joys abroad.

Then let our songs abound,
And every tear be dry;
We're marching through Emmanuel's ground,
To fairer worlds on high.

Responsive Reading: Psalm 121
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help.
My help cometh from the LORD, which made heaven and earth.
He will not suffer thy foot to be moved: he that keepeth thee will not slumber.
Behold, he that keepeth Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.
The LORD is thy keeper:
The LORD is thy shade upon thy right hand.
The sun shall not smite thee by day, nor the moon by night.
The LORD shall preserve thee from all evil:
He shall preserve thy soul.
The LORD shall preserve thy going out and thy coming in from this time forth, and even for evermore.
Hymn of Trust    “O God, Our Help in Ages Past”    by Isaac Watts, 1710

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Our shelter from the stormy blast,      
And our eternal home.
A thousand ages in Thy sight
Are like an evening gone;
Short as the watch that ends the night
Before the rising sun.

Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
Sufficient is Thine arm alone,
And our defense is sure.

O God, our help in ages past,
Our hope for years to come,
Be Thou our guard while troubles last,
And our eternal home.

Before the hills in order stood,
Or earth received her frame,
From everlasting Thou art God,
To endless years the same.

Now our Lord Jesus Christ himself, and God, even our Father, which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and establish you in every good word and work. Amen II Thessalonians 2:16,17

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