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Worship Ministry - February 2023

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Great Is Thy Faithfulness

The hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” is one all of us know and know well, and if you grew up in church you probably have sung it many times. This hymn is one of my favorite songs of all time because of its rich truth of God’s faithfulness. I must confess that I was a little shocked to learn that in the grand scheme of time, this song isn’t that old (1923); especially when you compare it to hymns such as “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” (1529)(translated in 1852) or even “Holy, Holy, Holy” (1826). You would also expect a song as powerful as “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” to be accompanied by a great story inspired by some great tragedy or life-altering triumph, but the author once admitted that there “was no dramatic story behind the writing” of the song.  

The hymn's author, Thomas Chisholm, was born not too far from us in Franklin, Kentucky. Chisholm came to Christ at the age of 27 and from then until he died at the age of 94, he penned 1,200 poems and hymns. After sending a few of his poems to his friend and musician, William Runyan, “Great Is Thy Faithfulness” was put to a tune and first published in 1923. It is a little hard to believe that the popularity of the song was slow to spread and only became well known after being used by George Beverly Shea and the Billy Graham Crusades.

As I ponder the lyrics of this song and the history of their author, I am stuck by his declaration of there not being a “dramatic story.” Each one of us has times in our lives when we are overwhelmed by grief, stress, and hardship, and other days that are full of joy, triumph, and victory; however, most of our days are just normal days. The majority of our days have nothing partially special about them, nothing out of the ordinary. Yet, it was on a day much like that when Chisholm penned the words “Thou changest not, thy compassions, they fail not; as thou hast been, thou forever wilt be” and “Morning by morning new mercies I see; all I have needed thy hand hath provided. Great is thy faithfulness, Lord, unto me!”

What an incredible challenge to us that we would remember God’s unending overwhelming faithfulness on our most mundane days. That we wouldn’t only be thankful for His provision as we are relieved of pain or sorrow. Not just on days when the storm seems to be clearing. Not just on days when we are on top of the world and it seems like nothing can stop us from achieving all that we want to accomplish. Rather, on those days that are the most normal, the days that won’t be remembered next week; those too are the days to celebrate God’s great faithfulness. Every morning we should lift praise to our King for His faithfulness in filling our lungs with breath, providing for our most basic needs, and allowing us to call Him father. May we be a more faithful people to the One who has been the most faithful! “Your steadfast love, O Lord, extends to the heavens, your faithfulness to the clouds.” Psalm 36:5

Lyric of the Month
For God so loved The world that He gave us His one and only Son to save us Whoever believes in Him Will live forever

Psalm 103:1
Praise the Lord, my soul; all my inmost being, praise his holy name.

Posted by Evan Gray with

Worship Ministry - January 2023

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Christmas Night of Worship

Wow! If you missed our Christmas night of worship, you missed out on a blessing! I am so proud and thankful to all those that made the night so special. Those that sang in the choir worked hard and put in many hours on Sunday afternoons so that we could bring our best offering of praise. I am also incredibly thankful that I get to serve with such great musicians each week, and especially thankful for those that played for our night of worship. Last but not least, those that worked behind the scenes in our tech crew, we couldn’t have done it without you.

Hope

When I was a child, I would find myself awake on Christmas Eve wondering and hoping at what was inside those beautifully wrapped packages under the tree. Socks? Candy? The new, latest and greatest gaming system? I was hoping it was the latter! Those are the feelings of every child on Christmas Eve, hoping that time will move faster and the sun will rise sooner so they can see what “Santa” brought them, but feeling like it was never going to come.

Aren’t these the same feelings the Shepards, Wisemen, Joseph and Mary, and all those looking and waiting for the promised Messiah had? A hope that always seemed a little out of reach, that was never truly going to be fulfilled. Egerly waiting for a promised messiah from the God of Abraham, Issac, and Jacob, who hasn’t spoken to us in what feels like eternity! The same God guided us through the wilderness into the promised land and broke the bonds of oppression in Egypt. The same God that etched the law onto the stone tablets and communed with Moses on the mountain. They had hoped that one day that same God would send a messiah to save them, but where was He?

Then, on that silent night, Jesus was born!

We have hope and assurance that God is here with us! We can go with great confidence into this world knowing that we are not alone, but have the hope of Christ Jesus in our hearts if we belong to Him. God sent hope as a baby boy, who grew up a sinless man and bore the sins of all man-kind so that we are redeemed before the Father. God continues to send hope through His spirit as He encourages us and challenges us to live for Him in and through all things. May we return to that child-like hope as we head into a new year. May we remember that God is worthy and deserving of our praise, every day, every hour, in all things. May we not look to the world to fill us, but seek the Lord our God for our delight. May our hope be in the Living Hope, Jesus Christ!

Lyric of the Month
Hallelujah, praise the one who set me free
Hallelujah, death has lost its grip on me
You have broken every chain
There's salvation in your name
Jesus Christ, my living hope

Isaiah 25:1
Lord, you are my God;
I will exalt you and praise your name,
for in perfect faithfulness
you have done wonderful things,
things planned long ago.

Posted by Evan Gray with

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