Saturday, November 28, 2009

The Son of God Goes Forth to War

This is the congregation of Cornerstone Reformed Church [CREC, Illinois] singing yet another dead, dry, dusty traditional hymn.  Check out the young men in the front row ... poor boys - you can tell they're just dying for something hipper maybe with drums and guitars;  poor folks in the middle, they're yawning or maybe lipsynching;  and the folks in the back, well anyone can see how badly they need a big screen and projector; poor flock - this is such a complex tune and obviously way too difficult and involved to be worth their time to learn; and did you see how limp and lifeless the preacher was as he struggled to muster a prayer after the hymn had ended?  [post-hyper-sarcasm]  If we are going to raise the next generation of Christian martyrs, they will march to the gallows singing songs like this.  Think about the theology of your singing - what you sing and how you sing it!
The Son of God goes forth to war,
a kingly crown to gain;
his blood red banner streams afar:
who follows in his train?
Who best can drink his cup of woe,
triumphant over pain,
who patient bears his cross below,
he follows in his train.

That martyr first, whose eagle eye
could pierce beyond the grave;
who saw his Master in the sky,
and called on him to save.
Like him, with pardon on his tongue,
in midst of mortal pain,
he prayed for them that did the wrong:
who follows in his train?

A glorious band, the chosen few
on whom the Spirit came;
twelve valiant saints, their hope they knew,
and mocked the cross and flame.
They met the tyrant's brandished steel,
the lion's gory mane;
they bowed their heads the death to feel:
who follows in their train?

A noble army, men and boys,
the matron and the maid,
around the Savior's throne rejoice,
in robes of light arrayed.
They climbed the steep ascent of heaven,
through peril, toil and pain;
O God, to us may grace be given,
to follow in their train.

- Reginald Heber, 1827


Jharlan said...

Cool - very well sung. The Pastor has a good voice too. While some blogs continue to mention "ho-hum business as usual" worship and church services, one wonders what they could possibly be referring to in light of worship like this and at other reformed churches. Perhaps the ho-hum cookie-cutter "praise" bands could take a few lessons from worship of this type. Not perhaps, surely they should take a few lessons from worship such as this - and may God be most praised by the true worship in Spirit and in truth.

robert said...

Aha! I wondered where you were going with your comments, but the video reveals tongue firmly planted in cheek. Wow! I had goosebumps! That is congregational singing! I'd like to post the video on my own blog, Wordwise Hymns, if possible.

Benjamin said...

Robert - that would be great! Let me know if you need help posting it. I'll be sure to check out your blog as well. God speed!