MWM: condescension

As time marches on, some words in Christian songs become lost in supposed irrelevance, and other words are simply edited out, as the human race “progresses,” engulfed in the sea of fearful political correctness.  For instance, we no longer call ourselves “worms,” as Isaac Watts did in “Alas! and Did My Savior Bleed,” because, well, that’s just bad for the psyché.

In all my years, I’ve known of only three men, including myself, who’ve led “Come, Christians, Join To Sing,” which includes the word “condescend.”  This word strikes the modern ear as rather jarring, when applied to someone’s relationship to me.  I mean, if someone is said to condescend to be with me or to speak with me, it puts me in an undesirable position of humble circumstance.

Yeah, exactly.

condescend, v.i., from L. com, together and descendere, descend

1.  to be gracious about doing a thing considered beneath one’s dignity

2.  to deal with others patronizingly

The primary above definition of the word is a good reason that the words stand tall in my memory of yesterday morning’s worship time with fellow Christians.  The secondary definition, although representing a more common understanding these days, has not a single thing in common with the Christ or the Father.

Now, here are the words of the second stanza of the poem by Christian Henry Bateman:

He is our Guide and Friend.

To us He’ll condescend.

His love shall never end.

Alleluia, amen!

It is quite clearly a condescension (primary definition) that led God to empty Himself of part of Himself, causing Jesus to be born.  That condescension, together with the resulting, apparent love shown, constitutes one reason for worship.

Other compelling phrases from my yesterday of group worship include these:

a song of praise that flows from those You have redeemed

keep silence before Him

You alone I long to worship

I surrender all

it’s my joy to honor You in all I do

this I know with all my heart:  His wounds have paid my ransom

under the shadow of Thy throne still may we dwell secure

by faith we see the hand of God

we will stand as children of the promise

Question:  what words moved you in worship yesterday (or other recent times)?

* * *

[By the way, the “MWM” initials in the title of this post stand for “Monday Worship Music.”  The series to which this one is the sequel was called “Monday Music,” and archives may be accessed here.]


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