Sunday, April 27, 2008

Hymn of the Week: How Sweet and Awesome Is This Place

This Isaac Watts hymn [also titled: How Sweet and Awful Is This Place] has been around for about 300 years, but I just heard it for the first time last week. Another friend of mine, Roger (see blog here), also had heard it for the first time just a few days before I did at the T4G conference he attended.

I think the idea to contemplate here is this: We were invited to be part of the "bride of Christ" through salvation, and we get to participate in the "wedding supper" with Him....and yet we are not the least bit worthy—and many others who are invited refuse the invitation!

It is sad that although "God is not willing that any should perish" and therefore "invites all men everywhere to repent," there will be some who spurn His precious gift of salvation. But it is also unbelievably comforting that those of us who have accepted His gift will get to sit at that wedding supper and enjoy God's presence forever in heaven!

Isaac Watts wrote roughly 700 hymn lyrics.

Here are the words to this great hymn:

How sweet and awesome is this place
[originally How sweet and aweful is the place]
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores!

Here every bowel of our God
With soft compassion rolls;
Here peace and pardon bought with blood
Is food for dying souls.

While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?

“Why was I made to hear Thy voice,
And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?”

’Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.

Pity the nations, O our God!
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.

We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May with one voice, and heart and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace.

1 comment:

Roger said...

Thanks for publishing this song on your blog for others to meditate on and appreciate. Another song we sang at the conference was "My Song Is Love Unknown". The tune was a little tricky since most of us had never sung it before. I've just gone back and re-read the lyrics. It's worth meditating on as well. Lyrics are here.