Saturday, October 15, 2011

A Robust Hymn

I love stories! Doesn't everyone? I found a quote this summer as I was teaching storytelling, that just sticks in my mind, "Storytellers want us to see not just the trees in the forest, but the leaves on the trees." Isn't that great? Stories are all about details-details that make everything come alive in your mind.
Today I'm thinking about my favorite hymn. Because when you get older, you sometimes think about your funeral. And I want this song sung at my funeral. Anyway, my absolute favorite hymn is Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the King of Creation. This hymn was written in German by Joachin Neander in the 1600s. Joachin was the principal of a school in the Dussel River valley. As he walked through the valley's forests, and grottos, and explored its caves, he would compose hymns and poems. He was so popular in this area of Germany that a cave was named after him when he died. The Neander Cave. And guess where the Neanderthal Man was found in the 1800s? In his valley! It was named after him. Probably makes him turn in his grave.=) The hymn was translated to English in the 1800s and William S. Bennet, a composer, wrote the music for it. William was a member of the royal music society. He was rather famous. Queen Victoria knighted him in 1871, 4 years before his death, and he is buried in Westminster Abbey. Not bad background for my favorite hymn, huh?!=)
Here are the words. I hope they are a blessing and encouragement to you as you read them. They are lofty thoughts of God that lift my heart in worship. And hum the majestic music-majestically and robustly.

Praise to the Lord, the Almighty, the king of Creation.
Oh my soul praise Him for He is thy health and salvation.
All ye who hear, now to His temple draw near.
Join me in glad adoration.

Not the Dussel River Valley, but still God's beautiful creation-
the Smokey Mountains
Praise to the Lord, who o'er all things so wondrously reigneth,
Shelters thee under His wings, yes so gently sustaineth.
Hast thou not seen how all thy longings have been,
granted in what He ordaineth.

Praise to the Lord, who doth prosper thy work and defend thee,
Surely His goodness and mercy here daily attend thee.
Ponder anew what the Almighty can do,
If with His love He befriend thee.

Praise to the Lord, oh let all that is in me adore Him.
All that hath life and breath come now in praises before Him.
Let the amen sound from His people again.
Gladly for aye we adore Him.