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Day of Judgement!

This week at CCM, we're learning a new song to help us engage with our upcoming sermon series on Amos. And it's on a topic we don't sing about much...

The theme of God's judgement is significant in Scripture. It's an uncomfortable one to speak about, let alone sing about. And as the general tone of Church music has become more joyful and celebratory over the years, we've lost some of the hymns that talk about judgement, lament over sin, and so on. The truth is, it's only by dwelling on these 'low' points of sin and judgement that we can understand and appreciate the 'high' points of the cross and eternal life.

The Olney Hymn book, published in 1779, contains the hymns of pastor John Newton and William Cowper (pronounced 'Cooper'), a poet in his congregation. Newton often wrote hymns to go with his sermons, and the Olney Hymns preserves the best of those, including  Amazing Grace and Cowper's God moves in a mysterious way. These hymns contain a great variety of topics presented with Newton's typical pastoral sensitivity.

This Sunday, we'll be learning an updated version of Newton's hymn Day of Judgement, day of wonders, which helps us feel the dread of that great final Day, and points us to the mercy we so desperately need in Christ. The lyrics are below, and you can find the lead sheet on our CCM Music page:

Day of judgment, day of wonders!
Hear the awful sound,
Louder than a thousand thunders,
Shakes the vast creation round!
 
2. Jesus calls: the dead awaken,
Rise from earth and sea;
All the pow’rs of nature shaken
by his look, prepares to flee:
 
When all earth and heaven melt away,
Gracious Saviour, own me in that Day!

 
3. Every knee shall bow before Him,
Every heart exposed;
All the stains of our rebellion
Clear before His judgement throne.
 
Under earth and heaven’s blackened sky,
Gracious Saviour, You were lifted high,
Bearing all the curse that my sin deserved
As You bled upon that tree:
God the judge hangs cursed for me.
 
4. Rise now, sinner: come to Jesus
Pardoning grace to know.
Meet Him now as gracious Saviour,
Not just then as Judge alone.
Original words by John Newton. Additional words & music by Ben Slee. © Ben Slee 2017.