Posted by: rcottrill | February 28, 2018

It Is Morning in My Heart

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Words: Alfred Henry Ackley (b. Jan. 21, 1887; d. July 3, 1960)
Music: Alfred Henry Ackley

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Alfred Ackley)
The Cyber Hymnal (Alfred Ackley)
Hymnary.org

Note: Gospel song writer Alfred Henry Ackley was a musician of note, and had fifteen hundred songs to his credit. He also trained as a pastor and served churches in Pennsylvania and California.

Morning can mean different things to us, depending on our circumstances. It may be viewed as an encouraging opportunity to make a fresh start. Or, it could be we awaken to face again old enemies, or a struggle of longstanding.

Much wonderful poetry has been written about morning. Shakespeare gave us:

Full many a glorious morning have I seen
Flatter the mountain tops with sovereign eye,
Kissing with golden face the meadows green,
Gilding pale streams with heavenly alchemy.

And from poet Ella Wheeler Wilcox we have:

Day’s sweetest moments are at dawn;
Refreshed by his long sleep, the Light
Kisses the languid lips of Night,
Ere she can rise and hasten on.

In a 1984 television commercial, part of his campaign for reelection, President Ronald Reagan described the positive effects of his first four years in office with the opening line, “It’s morning again in America.”

The Bible refers to morning more than two hundred times, plus using other terms such as dawn, sunrise and daybreak. The initial mention occurs on the first day of creation (Gen. 1:5), and the last in a description of Christ as “the Bright and Morning Star” (Rev. 22:16), the One who will usher in the dawning of eternal day. In between are dozens of passages referring to the new day in various ways.

For David, it was a time for prayer and meditation: “My voice You shall hear in the morning, O Lord; in the morning I will direct it to You, and I will look up” (Ps. 5:3). The prophet Isaiah saw this as an important time to learn from the Lord what he was to pass on to the people of Israel: “The Lord God has given Me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to him who is weary. He awakens Me morning by morning, He awakens My ear to hear as the learned” (Isa. 50:4).

In remembrance of God’s daily blessings, Jeremiah writes, “His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness” (Lam. 3:22-23). The morning is a good time to begin praising the Lord–a practice that should continue through the day. “It is good to give thanks to the Lord, and to sing praises to Your name, O Most High; to declare Your lovingkindness in the morning, and Your faithfulness every night” (Ps. 92:1-2).

Speaking of God’s times of painful chastisement David says, “His anger is but for a moment, His favour is for life; weeping may endure for a night, but joy comes in the morning” (Ps. 30:5). And reveling in the Lord’s constant care he writes, “If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me” (Ps. 139:9-10).

And finally, it was in the early morning hours of what we call Easter Sunday that the followers of Christ discovered the wonderful truth that Christ had conquered death and the grave (Lk. 24:1). The message of an angel was, “Why do you seek the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen!” (vs. 5-6). Our eternal salvation is founded upon the death and resurrection of Christ (I Cor. 15:20-21).

In 1933, Mr. Ackley wrote the words and music of a song that compares God’s salvation to the dawning of a bright and beautiful spiritual morning in his heart, a wonderful new beginning, after the night of sin. As the Bible puts it, “If anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new” (II Cor. 5:17).

1) All the darkness of the night has passed away,
It is morning in my heart;
I am living in the sunlight of the day,
It is morning in my heart.

It is morning, it is morning in my heart;
Jesus made the gloomy shadows all depart.
Songs of gladness now I sing,
For since Jesus is my King
It is morning, it is morning in my heart.

3) Christ has made the world a paradise to me,
It is morning in my heart;
Every duty in the light of love I see,
It is morning in my heart.

Questions:
1) How is a person’s conversion like the morning dawn?

2) What other word pictures can you think of to describe God’s salvation?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Alfred Ackley)
The Cyber Hymnal (Alfred Ackley)
Hymnary.org


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