The Priestly Pen
Endless Song: Trusting God with Our Assets
In a collection of hymns published in 1869, this anonymous text appeared set to a beautiful tune by American Baptist minister Robert Wadsworth Lowry:
My life flows on in endless song; above earth's lamentation,
I hear the real though far-off song that hails a new creation;
Refrain: No storm can shake my inmost calm while to that rock I'm clinging; Since Christ is Lord of heaven and earth, how can I keep from singing?
What tho' my joys and comforts die? The Lord my Savior liveth!
What tho' the darkness gather round? Songs in the night he giveth. R/
The peace of Christ makes fresh my heart, a fountain ever springing;
All things are mine since I am his - how can I keep from singing? R/
What a powerful faith statement and declaration of trust in our Lord! We can trust Christ the Solid Rock to calm any storm that comes along in life. Scripture teaches us to trust God all the time and in all circumstances, believing that the Holy One keeps holy promise - to love us, be among us, save us, and sustain us. Always. No exceptions.
We are to trust God this way as individuals, and as the church. We ARE the church - "the body of Christ and individually members of it." (I Cor. 12:27. We are God's called-out people empowered for mission and ministry in this world that God so loves! Being God's people in this world isn't easy, but God knows that and helps us to trust by showing us the Divine Track Record of what God has given us - everything: all we are, all we have, and all we can do.
+ All of that comprises our assets - as individuals and church! +
God has blessed Messiah with amazing assets: members, friends, community (inside and out there), worship, leaders, service and working groups, properties, projects, money, heritage, location, plans, needs, problems and challenges. Yes, needs, problems and challenges are assets: they draw us to give thanks to God in all circumstances through using our assets of time, money, abilities and community to live as Christ's body in the world. We do this by
+ assembling for worship as our first response to God's grace, praising God in
liturgy, prayer, song, scripture, sermon and sacrament
+ sharing the Good News of God's love in Jesus Christ
+ being hearers and doers of the Word, praying each day, "Lord, use me."
+ feeding and sheltering people through food pantries, meal programs, school
backpack programs, and offering time and money to supportive agencies
+ caring for and sharing our beautiful property and grounds resources
+ welcoming and embracing all through the ministry of hospitality
+ trusting God with our money as well as our time and abilities
+ learning more and more about God's Word and will for us
+ and being thankful for this long list, because of our many assets!
This is how our "life flows on in endless song." Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ is indeed Lord of heaven and earth! Therefore, by grace, each of us can say to the world: How can I keep from singing?
In the Savior's love,