Wednesday, October 10, 2012

ONE VOICE: Ye Nations

The Song:
Statue of Watts in London
Isaac Watts was one of the most prolific hymn-writers in history. He is credited with writing around 750 hymns from his first publication in 1707 to his death in 1748.  Some of his hymns you may have heard: When I Survey the Wondrous Cross, At the Cross, Joy to the World (words), and O God Our Help in Ages Past.  A somewhat lesser-known Watts hymn that you may have heard for the first time this past Sunday is Ye Nation ‘Round the Earth, Rejoice.  It has been given a fresh arrangement by a modern-day worship leader named Sarah DeShields who, like Watts, hails for the British Isles. So if you wonder why parts of the lyrics sound “antique” and other parts sound modern…now you know: One author wrote his part when America was just a group of British colonies while the other is writing in the 21st century!

One thing I love about the song is how it feels like we’re singing a Psalm straight from Scripture! Watts loved to pull from the Psalms and this particular hymn was published in a group of works under the name of The Psalms of David. Don’t miss out on the richness of what we’re singing.  In fact, since there is no YouTube option to give you on this song, I’m going to take this opportunity to place the Watts portion of the lyrics below along with some 21st century commentary done by yours truly.  Thank you for taking time to invest a little in our Sunday-together-worship by reading these emails. Come Sunday and “bring your best offering, pour it over the feet of the Lord!”

Find It:
CLICK HERE to download this song from iTunes.

Lifting my voice with yours, Pastor Neil

Ye Nations

Ye nations round the earth, rejoice 
[all people…believers & nonbelievers, alike]
Before the Lord, your sovereign King, 
[we’re praying they would recognize Him as King]
Serve Him with cheerful heart and voice; 
[are you a cheerful servant of Christ?]
With all your tongues His glory sing. 
[praise Him in every way known, the world-around!]

The Lord is God; ’tis He alone 
[He’s the only one…]
Doth life and breath and being give; 
[…who can sustain us & give our lives meaning]
We are His work, and not our own; 
[though we tend to forget Someone else has a claim on us]
The sheep that on His pastures live. 
[what great timing with our Psalm 23 series!]

Enter His gates with songs of joy, 
[gates = the entry to the temple…show up Sunday with joy]
With praises to His courts repair; 
[talking about the temple again: show up with praise]
And make it your divine employ 
[make it your job…a sacred job]
To pay your thanks and honors there. 
[to give God the credit He is deserves]

The Lord is good, the Lord is kind; 
Great is His grace, His mercy sure; 
[mercy sure = you don’t have to doubt that He’ll be merciful]
And the whole race of man shall find 
[we’ll find out sooner or later, like it or not]
His truth from age to age endure. 
[He IS truth and the truth doesn’t change]