As we begin our Thanksgiving, let me share this hymn. It is good for us to give thanks to God for all things, but we must take care that we not sound as if we are really worshipping the idol Materialism. In other words, while we thank God for things, we have much to thank God for if we lose all we can see or touch. This Watts hymn moves me and reminds me to cry out in deep thanksgiving to God for saving my soul. Verses three and four especially drive this point home. As I gather with my family and friends today, I want to thank God for salvation and then, as in this hymn, let my thanksgiving overflow in prayer for the salvation of the nations.
How Sweet and Awesome is this Place
By Isaac Watts (you can hear the tune here)
How sweet and awesome is this place
With Christ within the doors,
While everlasting love displays
The choicest of her stores!
Here every bowel of our God
With soft compassion rolls;
Here peace and pardon bought with blood
Is food for dying souls.
While all our hearts and all our songs
Join to admire the feast,
Each of us cry, with thankful tongues,
“Lord, why was I a guest?
“Why was I made to hear
Thy voice,And enter while there’s room,
When thousands make a wretched choice,
And rather starve than come?”
’Twas the same love that spread the feast
That sweetly drew us in;
Else we had still refused to taste,
And perished in our sin.
Pity the nations, O our God!
Constrain the earth to come;
Send Thy victorious Word abroad,
And bring the strangers home.
We long to see Thy churches full,
That all the chosen race
May with one voice, and heart and soul,
Sing Thy redeeming grace.