Sunday, May 8, 2016
Lift Our Hearts Above
In most Christian churches, today marks the observance of the Ascension of Jesus, though technically the feast day was this past Thursday, forty days after Easter. Most hymns for the day are written around the "lifting up" of Christ into heaven (as related in Luke 24:44-53 and Acts 1:1-11), but there are other possible themes for the day as well, including the commissioning of the disciples as witnesses to the life and work of Jesus. Today's hymn includes another possibility: the hope that we would eventually be lifted up ourselves to join Jesus and the saints. The last stanza looks forward to next week's celebration of Pentecost.
O Christ, who hast prepared a place
For us around thy throne of grace,
We pray you, lift our hearts above,
And draw them with the cords of love.
Source of all good, thou, gracious Lord,
Art our exceeding great reward;
How transient is our present pain,
How boundless our eternal gain!
With open face and joyful heart,
We then shall see thee as thou art:
Our love shall never cease to glow,
Our praise shall never cease to flow.
Thy never-failing grace to prove,
A surety of thine endless love,
Send down thy Holy Ghost, to be
The raiser of our souls to thee.
Jean B. de Santeuil, 1686
tr. John Chandler, 1837
Tune: ILLSLEY (L.M.)
John Bishop, 1710
Eight (Liturgical) Years Ago: Alleluia! sing to Jesus
Eight (Calendar) Years Ago: How shall we praise thee, Lord of light
Six (Liturgical) Years Ago: A hymn of glory let us sing
Five (Liturgical) Years Ago: Hail the day that sees him rise
Four (Liturgical) Years Ago: On Olivet a little band
Three (Liturgical) Years Ago: God is ascended up on high
It's Also Mothers' Day: Motherhood, sublime, eternal
Another Mothering Hymn: Like as a mother comforteth