before the throne … of god above , i have a strong, a perfect plea, a great high priest whose name is Love, whoever lives and pleads for me.
my name is graven on His hands, my name is written on His heart, I know that while in heaven He stands, No tongue can bid me thence depart
when Satan tempts me to despair, and tells me of my guilt within, upward I look and see Him there, who made an end of all my sin. Because the sinless Savior died, My sinful soul is counted free, for God the just is satisfied, To look on Him and pardon me.
behold Him there the risen Lamb, my perfect spotless righteousness,the great unchangeable I am, the King of Glory and of grace. One with Himself I cannot die, my soul is purchased by His blood, my life is hid with Christ on high, with Christ my Savior and my God
– Charitie Lees Bancroft, 1863
i went to a celebratory event at church in the week. it was the graduation of a year long course i have been involved in. one session every month, meeting with mentors etc throughout and looking at the idea of leadership. i had been asked to join the course as a participant, and despite my minister knowing my views and difficulties with conformed worship, he still thought i would be good to do the course. i felt honoured to be asked. honoured that they felt i was good enough. so i did the course. its been a interesting ride, an interesting 12 months, especially with my up and down moods, various events happening and life continuing basically. but this week saw the end of the course, where we all got together, ate lovely cake, drank champagne and celebrated a journey.
for many people, the course has affirmed their leadership roles, for some, who currently has no leadership responsibility it has been about thinking about what they could do. what God is calling them to do. for me, its been about what i am NOT called to do. i guess i have gone the opposite direction to the the majority of people on the course, but its been none the less just as important.
anyway, i am not big on corporate worship. not big on singing songs, and especially not so good at the hymn variety, yet for some reason, when we all got together near the end of our evening together, to worship, my soul stirred. I have vaguely been aware of the song ‘ before the throne of god above’ for a long time, but have never actually sung it, listened to the tune. its just been one of those ‘old’ songs i ‘dont do’ and dont connect with. but for some reason, while standing there, watching 30 people or so passionately sing it, i found myself singing the words. well, trying to sing the words. trying to sing them , because actually i couldnt. right from the very beginning of the song, the tears fell. and as hard as i tried, i couldnt stop. i couldnt stop crying.
and its left me weepy ever since!
not quite the normal reaction to a hymn huh? cry, cry and cry some more? (not that i sing many songs)
the song gives me shivers down my spine. and i dont know why. the song stirs in me some bit of emotion and i am not sure why. the song leaves me in bits, and i am not totally sure why.
maybe its the thought of being before the throne of God, maybe its my name being written on His hand …
maybe its the fact that i know so often i live in despair, but that maybe i should be able to look up and see Him there. maybe its coz sometimes i dont.
maybe its lots of things. i had so much i wanted to write about this song, but my mind has gone blank now.
i find life so hard sometimes.