Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The 5th Verse

Ladies and Gentlemen of the World, may I present 'the 5th verse':

The first verse of the song How Great Thou Art was written by a Swedish pastor who'd just witnessed an amazing storm in the 1880's. He jotted down how he felt, writing literally, 'Oh! Great God!'
He never planned nor expected the great hymn that would come,
The next 3 verses were written by a missionary serving in the Carpathian Mountains, around 40 years later.  The song proclaims the Majesty of God and the humble longing of Christians for the day that Christ returns.  It's my belief that the greatest command from Jesus should not be forgotten as we wait for the return of the King, and that is that we should Go.  That we should make disciples, sharing the love and hope of Jesus with anyone who might listen.

In John 4, we see Jesus, just after speaking to the woman at the well.  His disciples return with food, but He isn't hungry:

"My food is to do the will of him who sent me and to accomplish his work.  Do you not say, 'There are yet four months, then comes the harvest'? Look, I tell you, lift up your eyes, and see that the fields are white for harvest.  Already the one who reaps is receiving wages and gathering fruit for eternal life, so that sower and reaper may rejoice together.  For here the saying holds true, 'One sows and another reaps.'  I sent you to reap that for which you did not labor. Others have labored, and you have entered into their labor."

Christ speaks of this great harvest, ripe for the picking.  I imagine cotton fields, late August or September, rolling as if freshly dewed with a carpet of snow.  In Luke 10, He gives us further insight into a great work that is yet to be accomplished.  Ripe fields, overflowing for the reaping,  but workers who are lacking:

"The harvest is plentiful, but the laborers are few. Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into his harvest." 

I feel it is my God-Given right, if not my duty, as it's obvious to me that the song begs it, and it seems that this glaring implication has apparently been hidden from all civilization...until now. :) For that reason, in accord with this most profound cannon,  I do humbly present the close to this beautiful story, the greatest undertaking of Love that the world has ever known -(Oh, How Great Thou Art)!

O Lord my God, When I in awesome wonder,
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made;
I see the stars, I hear the rolling thunder,
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.
When through the woods, and forest glades I wander,
And hear the birds sing sweetly in the trees.
When I look down, from lofty mountain grandeur
And see the brook, and feel the gentle breeze.
And when I think, that God, His Son not sparing;
Sent Him to die, I scarce can take it in;
That on the Cross, my burden gladly bearing,
He bled and died to take away my sin.
When Christ shall come, with shout of acclamation,
And take me home, what joy shall fill my heart.
Then I shall bow, in humble adoration,
And then proclaim: "My God, how great Thou art!"
Until that Day, my labor shall endeavor 
with fellows few, in harvests white as snow.
A greater Joy, I have not found could measure
But Thy Command, Great God, That I should Go!

Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee!
How Great thou Art! How Great thou Art!
Then sings my soul, my Savior God to Thee!
How Great thou Art! How Great thou Art!

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