This week is Covenant Entrance Sunday, a time when we welcome new members and celebrate baptisms. We also continue our study of Abraham in Genesis 17, which, appropriately, deals with God's covenant with Abraham, that He would make him the father of a great nation, that He will be their God, they will be His people.
This song feels like the working out of God's promise to Abraham, that all the people on the earth are called to praise God, that we are grounded in that rich story of grace spreading to grow a church, God's people. It ends with the doxology, this song that spans many church traditions. When we make a covenant to be a part of a church, it is not just to our local body, we are echoing the covenant we have made to the church universal, being rooted in something greater than our time, place and preferences.
This song is a clear retelling of how the gospel works itself out in one's life. It gives the church a chance to remember and testify that this is their story, this is what God has done, and it is only through grace that we walk with God, love our neighbors and endure to the end. When making the solemn vow to covenant with a church, it is helpful to rest in God's grace, He will accomplish His work in you, through you, and for His people.
For a song with such a dire title, this song is really a beautiful litany of what God has to say to those He calls His kids. Echoing God's speaking to Abraham and making promises, we are called to "hear what Christ the Savior says". It is really a retelling of God's covenant faithfulness to His people, and His deep love and affection for them.
This song encompasses most of our communion liturgy, calling us to give thanks and recounting God's holiness.
Just as God speaks to his people in "Pensive, Doubting, Fearful Heart", here He continues that theme, but as we look to communion, it highlights the means of His faithfulness & all the benefits of being part of God's church: "Mercy speaks by Jesus' blood, hear and sing ye sons of God, justice satisfied in Thee, Christ has full atonement made. Jesus' blood speaks solid rest, we believe and we are blessed, and without a jarring voice, welcomes Zion to rejoice! All her debts are cast on to me! She must and shall go free!"
Just as Abraham was awaiting the fulfillment of the promise, looking forward to it with anticipation, we, God's covenant people, look forward to the day when we will be with Christ, "when the storm has ceased it's raging and the haven has been won". We long to see the break of that day when "Morn of Morns it comes at last! All the gloom of ages past! For the Day of days the brightest we are waiting, waiting here!"