Tuesday, December 14, 2010


One of my favorite Christmas hymns - "Joy to the World! The Lord Is Come!" - was composed by Isaac Watts, known as the Father of English Hymnody. Watts wrote over 750 hymns in his lifetime, many of which are still sung in almost every Protestant denomination, in voices around the world. Here are the words to another of my favorite Isaac Watts hymns - rich fare for the holidays!

How Sweet and Awesome Is the Place

How sweet and awesome is the place with Christ within the doors,
while everlasting love displays the choicest of her stores.
While all our hearts and all our songs join to admire the feast,
each of us cries, with thankful tongue, "Lord, why was I a guest?
Why was I made to hear your 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 your victorious Word abroad, and bring the strangers home.
We long to see your churches full, that all the chosen race
may, with one voice and heart and soul, sing your redeeming grace.

Read more about Isaac Watts and his music here, in an article I wrote last January for the Union City Daily Messenger.

(For the depth and richness of the old hymns, but with a more contemporary sound, check out music by Indelible Grace here. "Our hope is to help the church recover the tradition of putting old hymns to new music for each generation, and to enrich our worship with a huge view of God and His indelible grace.")

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