The name of my new blog, “Come O Church” is taken from a hymn that I wrote a few months after I began church planting. I assure you I did not choose the name to promote the hymn or to pat myself on the back! Really, I could not think of a better name. Several blog names that I selected early on were quite bad and vetoed wisely by my wife. She did approve of this one – so off we go.
As I developed my first sermon series about the purposes of the church I was struck with just how few hymns and even fewer choruses even talk about the church. Maybe some of you have noticed this as well?
So I penned the hymn, Come O Church, which is to date the only hymn I have written! Though I do not claim to be a poet – I did receive a pretty good grade in a poetry class at the University of Arizona. Credit also to Dr. Timothy Ralston at Dallas Theological Seminary who taught me about hymn meter (it is 87.87 D) and to my mother who put me in music lessons (often unappreciated) as a child! Also, humble thanks to my church family who regularly sings this hymn.
Each of the four verses focus on a different biblical purpose of the church. Verse one focuses on worship; verse two on discipleship and spiritual growth; verse three on our call to love and fellowship with one another – and verse four on evangelism.
Come O Church beckons the church to be what she was called to be by her creator, the Lord Jesus Himself.
And, come to think of it, that is also my purpose for this new blog! To challenge pastors and church leaders to lead the church according to Christ’s design, not our own.
Come O Church
(Tune: Come Thou Fount)
1) Come O Church your Savior Jesus
worship Him now young and old!
Bow before your King the Victor,
rescued from the Devil’s hold
Raise your voice, a Holy Priesthood,
God in you the Spirit dwells.
Sacrifice now is to praise him –
free from sin and death and hell.
2) Come O Church the Bride of Jesus
meet him ready, spotless, clean.
Transformed by the Spirit’s power,
washed and pure in everything.
Come O Church abide in Jesus,
Bear the fruit of God above!
Pruned and growing ever higher,
sing of God’s amazing love!
3) Come O Church your head is Jesus
live in peace and unity.
To the world a loving witness
shining light for all to see!
Come O Church, cry Abba Father!
Children of the heavenly King!
Brother, sister now adopted,
let your voice His praises ring!
4) Come O Church the Master calls you
share the gift of life and faith.
So that when this journey’s over,
life with Christ our Lord awaits!
Sing out loud – the hope of heaven!
Shine its light from shore to shore!
Fear is gone and tears of sadness
changed to joy forevermore!
(BTW – Photo is of a beautiful roadside chapel in Salome, Arizona which I photographed when visiting there with my father-in-law Steve.)