Monday, January 23, 2017

Joy Cometh in the Morning

1. The day thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall hallow now our rest.

Sorrow has come to our congregation.  This week we hold services for two of our faithful members who have passed away. 

2. We thank Thee that Thy Church unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.

Many funeral professionals use these three points to explain the purpose of a funeral

  • Help the bereaved family, and their community, publicly acknowledge the death of one of their own.
  •  Support the grieving family by surrounding them with caring friends, co-workers, and neighbours.
  •  Move the deceased from one social status to another.

3. As o'er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.

I have no complaint with the points listed above, but I believe, in the context of the church they fall short.  A congregation supports the bereaved, provides a forum for remembering and acknowledges the passage of a person from one stage of life to the next.  But faith offers more.

4. The sun, that bids us rest, is waking
Our brethren 'neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.

Faith offers reassurance.  
Jesus said, "In my father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you."  John 14:2
Faith offers comfort. 
"And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away." Rev. 21:4
Faith offers hope. 
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,

To an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you," 1 Peter 1: 4-5

Faith offers joy.
"Weeping may endure for the night; but joy cometh in the morning." Ps. 30: 5b

5. So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth's proud empires, pass away:
But stand, and rule, and grow for ever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.

                                           The Day Thou Gavest  Author: John Ellerton (1870)
                                                                                Tune: ST. CLEMENT (Scholefield)

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