Easter Sunday, 17th April Songs of Praise 6.00 pm Order of Service

HYMN 1 The Lord is my Shepherd (Stuart Townend)

The Lords my shepherd, Ill not want;
He makes me lie in pastures green.
He leads me by the still, still waters,
His goodness restores my soul.

And I will trust in You alone,
And I will trust in You alone,
For Your endless mercy follows me,
Your goodness will lead me home.

He guides my ways in righteousness,
And He anoints my head with oil,
And my cup, it overflows with joy,
I feast on His pure delights.

And though I walk the darkest path,
I will not fear the evil one,
For You are with me, and Your rod and staff
Are the comfort I need to know.

PRAYERS

Hymn 2 Here is love, vast as the ocean

More than 100 years ago, a great renewal of genuine Christianity swept through Wales. Church buildings overflowed; thousands of new converts were made. Church historians and students of revival movements know this as the Welsh Revival of 1904. Welsh Christian William Rees wrote a wonderful hymn, “Here Is Love, Vast as the Ocean.”

It became known as the love song of the Welsh Revival and was used mightily by God during that time. Today, contemporary Christian artists have rediscovered it. The original lyrics stand as one of the most powerful hymns ever penned, showing the connection between God’s love and the gospel. Sing the lyrics thoughtfully and prayerfully.

Here is love, vast as the ocean,
loving kindness as the flood,
when the Prince of life, our ransom,
shed for us his precious blood.
Who his love will not remember;
who can cease to sing his praise?
He can never be forgotten
throughout Heaven’s eternal days.

On the mount of crucifixion
fountains opened deep and wide:
through the floodgates of God’s mercy
flowed a vast and gracious tide.
Grace and love, like mighty rivers,
poured incessant from above;
and Heaven’s peace and perfect justice
kissed a guilty world in love.

Let me all your love accepting
love you ever all my days,
let me seek your kingdom only
and my life to be your praise.
You alone shall be my glory,
nothing in the world I see;
you have cleansed and sanctified me,
you yourself have set me free.

When the stars shall fall from Heaven,
and the sun turn black as night;
when the skies recede and vanish,
and the elements ignite,
then the Son of Man in glory,
coming as the Morning Star,
shall return to claim his loved ones,
gathered in from near and far.

HYMN 3 Guide me O Thou great Jehovah

Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah was written by William Williams Pantycelyn.

William Williams Pantycelyn

Williams was born in Carmarthenshire, Wales in 1717. He was the son of John and Dorothy Williams. His father was a prosperous farmer. He grew up as an Independent and Calvinist.

He intended to be a doctor, but upon hearing Howell Harris preach he became a Christian. He abandoned his desire to pursue the ministry.

In 1744, he devoted himself to Methodism, after several misdemeanors against the Church of England.

He wrote the text to Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah in 1745, writing the words in Welsh. He would become the most famous hymn writer of Welsh Methodism, but it is unknown why he chose to write them in his native language. Maybe because there were few good hymns in the Welsh language and the Welsh love to sing.

The song refers to many of the difficulties and hardships he experienced as a traveling minister along with imagery from the books of Exodus and Joshua, in the Old Testament.

  1. Guide me, O Thou great Jehovah,
    Pilgrim through this barren land;
    I am weak, but Thou art mighty,
    Hold me with Thy pow’rful hand.
    Bread of heaven, Bread of heaven,
    Feed me till I want no more;
    Feed me till I want no more.
  1. Open now the crystal fountain,
    Whence the healing stream doth flow;
    Let the fire and cloudy pillar
    Lead me all my journey through.
    Strong Deliv’rer, strong Deliv’rer,
    Be Thou still my Strength and Shield;
    Be Thou still my Strength and Shield.
  1. When I tread the verge of Jordan,
    Bid my anxious fears subside;
    Death of death and hell’s Destruction,
    Land me safe on Canaan’s side.
    Songs of praises, songs of praises,
    I will ever give to Thee;
    I will ever give to Thee.

READING – John 20:1-8

Early on the first day of the week, while it was still dark, Mary Magdalene went to the tomb and saw that the stone had been removed from the entrance. 2 So she came running to Simon Peter and the other disciple, the one Jesus loved, and said, “They have taken the Lord out of the tomb, and we don’t know where they have put him!”

3 So Peter and the other disciple started for the tomb. 4 Both were running, but the other disciple outran Peter and reached the tomb first. 5 He bent over and looked in at the strips of linen lying there but did not go in. 6 Then Simon Peter came along behind him and went straight into the tomb. He saw the strips of linen lying there, 7 as well as the cloth that had been wrapped around Jesus’ head. The cloth was still lying in its place, separate from the linen. 8 Finally the other disciple, who had reached the tomb first, also went inside. He saw and believed.

HYMN 4 How deep the Father’s love for us

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us is a composition by an English Christian worship leader, Stuart Townend (born 1963)

Stuart says he decided to write these hymns to try to shift the attention that modern worship style that focuses more on our emotions rather on God. He says that the focus should be on our Lord more than on ourselves.

Emotions are important as they are a part of us but the problem comes in when they became the centre of our worship. Emotions can come and go and are easily influenced but only faith in God abides. We need to have a firm foundation in our Christian experience.

Christ should be the centre of our worship no matter the situation. Whether we are happy, excited or sad let us make Christ the centre and we will never be disappointed.

Stuart Townend gave the following reason for composing this hymn:

“The danger now is that we are so focused on the experience our worship can become self-seeking and self-serving. When all of our songs are about how we feel and what we need, we’re missing the point. There is a wonderful, omnipotent God who deserves our highest praise, and how we feel about it is in many ways irrelevant! I want to encourage the expression of joy, passion, and adoration, but I want those things to be the by-product of focusing on God – I don’t want them to become the subject matter. I’m trying to write songs that refer to us as little as possible, and to Him as much as possible!”

Before we come to the Lord’s Table we sing this wonderful hymn focussing on Jesus.

How deep the Father’s love for us,
How vast beyond all measure,
That He should give His only Son
To make a wretch His treasure.
How great the pain of searing loss –
The Father turns His face away,
As wounds which mar the Chosen One
Bring many sons to glory.

Behold the man upon a cross,
My sin upon His shoulders;
Ashamed, I hear my mocking voice
Call out among the scoffers.
It was my sin that held Him there
Until it was accomplished;
His dying breath has brought me life –
I know that it is finished.

I will not boast in anything,
No gifts, no power, no wisdom;
But I will boast in Jesus Christ,
His death and resurrection.
Why should I gain from His reward?
I cannot give an answer;
But this I know with all my heart –
His wounds have paid my ransom.

COMMUNION

HYMN 5 Thine be the glory

In 1884, Edmond L. Budry used Handel’s melody and wrote lyrics for them, which he named “A Toi la Gloire.” It is told that he was motivated to write it following the passing of his first wife, Marie de Vayenborg in Lausanne, Switzerland. It was later printed in the French hymn book, Chants Evangéliques. The hymn was first translated from French into English by Richard B. Hoyle in 1923. He was commissioned to transcribe the hymn by the World Student Christian Federation after Budry gave permission to reprint it from the French version.

Thine be the glory, risen, conqu’ring Son;
endless is the vict’ry Thou o’er death hast won.
Angels in bright raiment rolled the stone away,
kept the folded grave-clothes where Thy body lay.
Thine be the glory, risen, conquring Son;
endless is the victry Thou oer death hast won.

Lo, Jesus meets us, risen from the tomb.
Lovingly He greets us, scatters fear and gloom;
let His church with gladness hymns of triumph sing,
for the Lord now liveth; death hath lost its sting.
Thine be the glory, risen, conquring Son;
endless is the victry Thou oer death hast won.

No more we doubt Thee, glorious Prince of life!!
Life is nought without Thee; aid us in our strife;
make us more than conqu’rors, through Thy deathless love;
bring us safe through Jordan to Thy home above.
Thine be the glory, risen, conquring Son;
endless is the victry Thou oer death hast won.

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