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Having mastered the University of Montana's IYFD program, I journeyed to Peru with the US Peace Corps. Currently, I'm discovering Peru while living in the gorgeous Andes mountains in beautiful Ancash. Come visit!

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

We Adore Thee

"These verses are simple expressions of common Christian feelings and desires in this present time, hymns of today that may be sung together by people who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of science will destroy their religion or that any revolution on earth will overthrow the kingdom of heaven. Therefore these are hymns of trust and hope."

These words are from Henry van Dyke the lyricist about the famous hymn "Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee." He wrote the words and set them to "Hymn of Joy" from Beethoven's Ninth Symphony. I can't think of a song more eloquent in stating the joy and glory we experience walking in the light of God.

1. Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
hearts unfold like flowers before thee,
opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
drive the dark of doubt away.
Giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day!

2. All thy works with joy surround thee,
earth and heaven reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee,
center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain,
call us to rejoice in thee.

3. Thou art giving and forgiving,
ever blessing, ever blest,
well-spring of the joy of living,
ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother,
all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each other,
lift us to the joy divine.

4. Mortals, join the mighty chorus
which the morning stars began;
love divine is reigning o'er us,
binding all within its span.
Ever singing, march we onward,
victors in the midst of strife;
joyful music leads us sunward,
in the triumph song of life.


I'll admit that sometimes it is difficult to find the "joy" in the midst of the difficult, but maybe that's because we define joy improperly. Joy really has nothing to do with happiness. Joy is a state of being where as happiness is a fleeting feeling. You can have both joy and happiness, and you can have neither. Yet, you can't have happiness without joy. As we walk in the Way we need to learn to be joyous. As Paul said in Philippians 4:4, "Rejoice in the Lord always, again I say rejoice!" Rejoice is an interesting choice. I mean James writes, "Consider it pure joy my brothers whenever you face trials of many kinds." But Paul says rejoice, as in, being ecstatic with joy.

I guess that heats things up a bit.

1 Comments:

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