Posted by: rcottrill | January 24, 2019

All Praise to Thee, My God, This Night

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: Thomas Ken (b. July ___, 1637; d. Mar. 19, 1711)
Music: Tallis Canon, by Thomas Tallis (b. circa 1505; d. Nov. 23, 1585)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Thomas Ken) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: While serving at Winchester Cathedral in 1674, Ken published a Manual of Prayers for Use of the Scholars of Winchester College, which contained several of his hymns. He instructed the students to use them in morning and evening devotions in their rooms. In this he referenced the words of the psalmist:

“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).

A number of sayings warn us against looking back. Author Rudyard Kipling wrote, humorously, “Never look backwards or you’ll fall down the stairs.” And legendary baseball pitcher Leroy “Satchel” Paige said, “Don’t look back. Something might be gaining on you.”

There’s something to this. If runners in a race look back, they may lose speed, or stumble. And, in life, if we become fixated on the past, it may lead to discouragement over failures, or arrogant pride at successes. But still there can be some value in reviewing the past. George Washington had it right:

“We ought not to look back, unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors and for the purpose of profiting by dear bought experience.”

With a birthday, or anniversary, or the beginning of a new year, we often look back at what has come before, and set some goals, God willing, for what is to come. The past should not be our obsession or our focus, but it can provide instructive motivation for the future.

When the nation of Israel came to the border of Canaan, the land God had promised them, Moses gave a series of speeches (recorded in Deuteronomy) reviewing the past and challenging them to trust God for what was ahead. He uses the word “remember” many times, recalling their history to that point.

“Remember that you were a slave in the land of Egypt, and the Lord your God brought you out from there by a mighty hand” (Deut. 5:15).

“And you shall remember that the Lord your God led you all the way these forty years in the wilderness” (Deut. 8:2).

“Remember the days of old, consider the years of many generations. Ask your father, and he will show you; your elders, and they will tell you” (Deut. 32:7).

The New Testament writers follow Moses in calling upon believers to remember certain things.

“Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels” (Heb. 13:2).

“Remember the prisoners as if chained with them–those who are mistreated–since you yourselves are in the body also [i.e. the body of Christ, the church]” (Heb. 13:2, 3).

“Remember the words which were spoken before by the apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ” (Jude 1:17).

As to our personal lives, in the evening, it is appropriate for us to look back on the day. Are there mistakes that can be corrected? Are there uncompleted projects that need to be taken up in the morning? This kind of review can be profitable, especially if we talk to the Lord about it, and seek His leading and His enabling grace.

That’s the theme of an evening hymn by Anglican clergyman Thomas Ken. It looks back, looks up to God, and looks forward as well.

CH-1) All praise to Thee, my God, this night,
For all the blessings of the light!
Keep me, O keep me, King of kings,
Beneath Thine own almighty wings.

CH-2) Forgive me, Lord, for Thy dear Son,
The ill that I this day have done,
That with the world, myself, and Thee,
I, ere I sleep, at peace may be.

CH-3) Teach me to live, that I may dread
The grave as little as my bed.
Teach me to die, that so I may
Rise glorious at the judgment day.

CH-4) O may my soul on Thee repose,
And with sweet sleep mine eyelids close,
Sleep that may me more vigorous make
To serve my God when I awake.

Questions:
1) If you were to review your day in the evening, what kinds of things would you take note of?

2) What would you hope to gain by doing such a review?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Thomas Ken) (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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