[The "MWM" initials stand for "Monday Worship Music.” The series to which this one is the sequel was called “Monday Music,” and archives may be accessed here.]
Learning good, new songs is always a pleasure for me. While I’m probably not in any sort of majority on this, a couple of my core traits are a) easily lulled into disinterest and mind wandering and b) musical. The former trait leads to a penchant for new things in my diets; combining “easily lulled” with “musical” means that a new song can readily become an oh-so-welcome vehicle for worshipping my God.
At this point in my life, it’s not all that often that a new song strikes me. These days, few of the “new” songs are actually unique enough to merit much attention, in my “book.” This lack of originality doesn’t make the songs bad; it does, however, often render them dull for me. Anyway, when we re-visited a group of vibrantly singing believers two Sundays ago, and an unfamiliar hymn — yes, a true hymn! – was requested by a 22-year-old, I took notice and was inspired on at least two fronts.
The tune used for this hymn, “St. Petersburg,” is generally derivative and is specifically an adaptation of the same composer’s tune “Wells,” which is associated with “Till He Come.” The music is not particularly striking, but it does make for a fine fit with the words, which are arrestingly worshipful.
O Power of love, all else transcending, in Jesus present evermore,
I worship thee, in homage bending, thy name to honor and adore.
Yea, let my soul, in deep devotion, bathe in love’s mighty boundless ocean.
Thou art my rest; no earthly treasure can satisfy my yearning heart,
and naught can give to me the pleasure I find in thee, my chosen part.
Thy love, so tender, so possessing, is joy to me, and every blessing.
To thee my heart and life be given; thou art in truth my highest good.
For me thy sacred side was riven, for me was shed thy precious blood.
O thou who art the world’s salvation, be thine my love and adoration.
I was so engaged while singing (an unfortunately rare state for me in this phase of life) that I didn’t even notice the author and composer’s names at the bottom. Both names are familiar to me. A quick check on cyberhymnal.org shows no reference to this hymn, so I don’t feel bad that I didn’t know it earlier. I did find two other sites that have catalogued it.
The author of the text also wrote the more familiar words “God Himself is With Us” — another worthy song which is a centering “call to worship” if there ever was one.