Hymns – The Gospel in Hymns, pt.2

Tonight we are gathering together to eat, pray, and sing. Our hymns for tonight are “All Creatures of Our God and King” by St. Francis of Assisi, “Glorious Things of Thee are Spoken” by John Newton, “On Jordan’s Stormy Banks I Stand” by Samuel Stennett, “Old Rugged Cross” by George Bennard, and “10,000 Reasons” by Matt Redman.  Attached are the notes from Robert Morgan’s Then Sings My Soul on each of the hymns (except for the last one). If you have time today, please read the hymns.  I hope to have a lively discussion on each of the works.

The first hymn that we are singing tonight is “All Creatures of Our God and King” written by St. Francis of Assisi (1182-1226).  Francis was one of those few Christians to take seriously Jesus’s command to give up all that you have and follow me. (Luke 18:22).  Upon taking his monastic vows, Francis refused to live apart from the world in a monastery, rather like Jesus, he lived among the poor, the lepers, and the outcasts and truly bore the full cost of following Jesus such as homelessness and renunciation of family. (Luke 9:57-62).  Francis not only saw God in each individual, regardless of his station in life but also saw God in all of creation.  And since God was in all, then all of creation likewise praises God. We see this same understanding in Psalm 148 or in the Song of the Three Young Men in Daniel.  Therefore, for Francis, our participation in the Divine is not on an individual level or even on a human communal level (i.e the church), rather we fully come to know God when we join our voices with all of creation – the sun, the moon, the wind, water, fire, and earth.  I have attached an excerpt on St. Francis and this hymn from Albert Bailey’s The Gospel in Hymns which goes into greater detail about the life of St. Francis and how this hymn came to be.

Dinner is at 6. The Menu is baked potato bar. Discussion and Singing about 6:45. Hope to see you here. Please bring a friend.

Hallelujah! Praise God in his holy temple; *
   praise him in the firmament of his power.
Praise him for his mighty acts; *
   praise him for his excellent greatness.
Praise him with the blast of the ram’s-horn; *
   praise him with lyre and harp.
Praise him with timbrel and dance; *
   praise him with strings and pipe.
Praise him with resounding cymbals; *
   praise him with loud-clanging cymbals.
Let everything that has breath *
   praise the Lord. Hallelujah!

Psalm 150

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