Faith, Uncategorized
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Awake, My Soul – A 3000 Year Old Song

And I—in righteousness I will see your face; 
when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness.
Psalm 17:15
Somewhere near 3000 years ago, David, son of Jesse, wrote these words.
Yet they mean so much to me, I myself might have written them.
As I prayed with my daughter at her bedside, we talked about how old the words of the Bible really are, yet they remain as relevant as sunlight is to day.
The desire of my heart even now, in 2012, is to awake and behold the likeness of my savior.
In 1674, Thomas Ken wrote a hymn, intended for the private, devotional use of students of Winchester College. The final words of the hymn are well known and called the Doxology.
As a child, I would sing the four-stanza hymn with my family at church or before special meals: Praise God from whom all blessings flow; Praise him all creatures here below; Praise him above, ye heavenly hosts; Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
The name of the hymn? Awake My Soul, and With The Sun.

Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
To pay thy morning sacrifice.

Thy precious time misspent, redeem,
Each present day thy last esteem,
Improve thy talent with due care;
For the great day thyself prepare.

By influence of the Light divine
Let thy own light to others shine.
Reflect all Heaven’s propitious ways
In ardent love, and cheerful praise.

In conversation be sincere;
Keep conscience as the noontide clear;
Think how all seeing God thy ways
And all thy secret thoughts surveys.

Wake, and lift up thyself, my heart,
And with the angels bear thy part,
Who all night long unwearied sing
High praise to the eternal King.

All praise to Thee, who safe has kept
And hast refreshed me while I slept
Grant, Lord, when I from death shall wake
I may of endless light partake.

Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,
O never then from me depart;
For to my soul ’tis hell to be
But for one moment void of Thee.

Lord, I my vows to Thee renew;
Disperse my sins as morning dew.
Guard my first springs of thought and will,
And with Thyself my spirit fill.

Direct, control, suggest, this day,
All I design, or do, or say,
That all my powers, with all their might,
In Thy sole glory may unite.

I would not wake nor rise again
And Heaven itself I would disdain,
Wert Thou not there to be enjoyed,
And I in hymns to be employed.

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.

Ken’s prayerful song covers the ebb and flow of the day.  The stanza at the end may be most familiar, but this one in the middle sings to my spirit:

Heav’n is, dear Lord, where’er Thou art,
O never then from me depart;
For to my soul ’tis hell to be
But for one moment void of Thee.

To be void of Christ is to be forever sleeping, and worse. The truth is, once a soul is awakened by the Spirit of Christ,  we can experience a taste of the joy of heaven here and now.

Over 2000 years after Jesus came and revolutionized humanity and made peace with God available to everyone who responded to his invitation, “Follow me!” more songwriters came along with the plea:

Awake my soul prepare an entrance for Your glory
And let my heart become a throne for You to dwell
And when I need Your Holy Spirit more than life itself
Then Christ is formed in me. {Phillips, Craig & Dean}

And now, the folksy and haunting Mumford & Sons play it well.

And all I can say is, Yes – Awake my soul. Let me be a place for you to dwell, Lord Jesus.

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4 Comments

  1. Naomi says

    Perfect verse to hang somewhere where you see it in the morning! And I never knew that there was a whole song! I can’t pick my favorite verse because there are so many that wonderful. I’ll have to read it several through several times. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Beautiful. I knew the doxology, of course, but not the entire longer version of the song. And I love that Mumford and sons video!

  3. wow had no idea that doxology was so great…actually didn’t know it was part of something bigger… makes sense
    Thank you for your kind words. always refreshing.
    T

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