May Memories: “Before the Throne of God Above”

I learnt in “Faces Around the Cross”, a Lent devotional book I read this year, that this hymn was written in 1863 by Charitie Lees Bancroft and originally called “Advocate”. It’s been rediscovered and renamed, and is now known as “Before the Throne of God Above”. I like the way it encourages Christians to look up and remember we’ve been forgiven.

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May Memories: “For Your Faithfulness”

I must confess I had forgotten this one too, until recently. It talks about Hebrews 2:9, which says that for a short time, Jesus was made lower than the angels. Think of that – Jesus who’s now at God’s right hand with angels and powers in submission to Him, coming into the human race for us.
Made lower than the angels for a time
To suffer death, for only You alone
Are my one High Priest, my only Sacrifice,
And my Advocate before the throne
.

May Memories: “Worthy is the Lamb”

This next song is one of those which overlaps. We sang it not only at Overcomers, but in church as well. The Overcomers changed one of the lines though, thanks to my friends who led the group. A friend of theirs introduced them to the song, and being a typical Scotsman, he thought ‘Darling of heaven’ sounded soppy, so it became ‘The high King of heaven, crucified’. That’s what I tend to sing now, because it makes me think with affection of my time at Overcomers, but I do like ‘Darling’. It brings home to me how much Jesus meant to God, and what a wrench it must have been when He left heaven to sacrifice His life for us. This version says ‘Treasure of heaven’, which I like as well.

What about you? Which do you prefer? Or maybe you’d change it to something completely different!

May Memories: “Holy, Holy, Holy – Hosanna”

As a child, my parents were fairly regular churchgoers. We went to our local Anglican church for their service of holy communion on a Sunday morning, and peppered throughout would be a few sung responses by the congregation. The organ would play and we’d sing things like:
Holy, holy, holy Lord,
God of power and might;
Heaven and earth are full of Your glory,
Hosanna in the highest
– a very cheerful little tune. Then I went to Overcomers and heard it sung like this. Wow! It seemed to me to capture the awe; suddenly we were singing ‘Hosanna’ like we really meant it.

May Memories: “Suddenly”

In about a month from now, it’ll be Pentecost – the church’s birthday. Seven weeks after the Jews offered the first fruits of their harvest to God, they had another feast called the Feast of Weeks, and people came to Jerusalem from everywhere for the occasion. Meanwhile, Jesus had risen from the dead and gone up to heaven to be with His Father, telling His followers to wait in Jerusalem until they received power from on high. In an upper room, they gathered for prayer, united in their pursuit of God. That’s when the Holy Spirit came and filled them with the power Jesus had talked about: Power to speak boldly for Him, and so He began the process of building His church.

This song describes that event, which we call Pentecost.