Joyful, Joyful!

Joyful, joyful, we adore thee,
God of glory, Lord of love;
hearts unfold like flowers before thee,
opening to the sun above. 
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
drive the dark of doubt away. 
Giver of immortal gladness,
fill us with the light of day!

All thy works with joy surround thee,
earth and heaven reflect thy rays,
stars and angels sing around thee,
center of unbroken praise. 
Field and forest, vale and mountain,
flowery meadow, flashing sea,
chanting bird and flowing fountain,
call us to rejoice in thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving,
ever blessing, ever blest,
well-spring of the joy of living,
ocean depth of happy rest! 
Thou our Father, Christ our brother,
all who live in love are thine;
teach us how to love each other,
lift us to the joy divine.

 Mortals, join the mighty chorus
which the morning stars began;
love divine is reigning o’er us,
binding all within its span. 
Ever singing, march we onward,
victors in the midst of strife;
joyful music leads us sunward,
in the triumph song of life.

Are We Robbing God In Our Worship?

Worship should be about God not me.

Something has been bothering me about our worship songs for some time. When I look back at the old hymns, I see such a difference from the worship songs that we sing today, and I don’t mean just style. The hymns spoke of God’s holiness, His grace, and magnificence. The catchy songs we sing today are about our response to His love and what we want Him to do in us. They are “me” directed not God directed. That bothers me. I don’t want to sing about myself, I want to praise Him. If the song is about my feelings or what I want, I feel like I’m robbing God of real praise. I love the songs that give Him total focus – complete praise, total worship. It’s not about me, it’s about Him. And I don’t want to sing “it’s not about me”, because it’s still about me. I want to cut straight to it’s all about Him. I can get lost in that, then He can be what He wants to be in me without me having to ask.