Friendship, Listening, and Empathy: A Prayer GuideTwo Hands: Grief and Gratitude in the Christian LifeSabbath Keeping FastingA Renewed SpiritualityNurturing Hope: Christian Pastoral Care in the Twenty-First CenturyThe Power of ListeningJoy Together: Spiritual Practices for Your CongregationPersonality Type in CongregationsPrayers of the Old TestamentPrayers of the New TestamentSabbathFriendingA Garden of Living Water: Stories of Self-Discovery and Spiritual GrowthDeath in Dunedin: A NovelDead Sea: A NovelDeadly Murmurs: A NovelBeating Burnout in CongregationsReaching Out in a Networked WorldEmbracing MidlifeAdvent DevotionalDraw Near: Lenten Devotional by Lynne Baab, illustrated by Dave Baab

Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: Hymns that describe friendship with God

Lynne Baab • Thursday January 31 2019

Nurturing friendships in a cellphone world: Hymns that describe friendship with God

I’ve been writing about human friendship as rooted in the love between the members of the Trinity and the love of God for us. I invite you to ponder the words to these hymns. In what ways do they enrich your understanding of God’s invitation into friendship with the Triune God? In what ways might they help you rest in God’s love as you seek to love others?

O worship the King all glorious above,
O gratefully sing His power and His love;
Our Shield and Defender, the Ancient of Days,
Pavilioned in splendor, and girded with praise.

Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
In Thee do we trust, nor find Thee to fail;
Thy mercies how tender, how firm to the end,
Our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend.
        —Robert  Grant, 1833, based on Psalm 103
       (Listen to the whole hymn here.)

Alleluia! sing to Jesus!
His the scepter, his the throne;
Alleluia! his the triumph,
His the victory alone;
Hark! the songs of peaceful Sion
Thunder like a mighty flood;
Jesus out of every nation
Hath redeemed us by his blood.

Alleluia! Bread of heaven,
Thou on earth our food, our stay!
Alleluia! here the sinful
Flee to thee from day to day:
Intercessor, Friend of sinners,
Earth’s Redeemer, plead for me,
Where the songs of all the sinless
Sweet across the crystal sea.
       —William Chatterton Dix, 1866
       (Listen to the whole hymn here.)

My song is love unknown,
My Savior’s love to me,
Love to the loveless shown,
That they might lovely be.
O who am I,
That for my sake
My Lord should take frail flesh and die?

He came from his blest throne,
Salvation to bestow,
But men made strange and none
The longed for Christ would know.
But O, My friend,
My Friend indeed,
Who at my need his life should spend!

Here might I stay and sing,
No story so divine;
Never was love, dear King,
Never was grief like Thine.
This is my Friend,
In whose sweet praise
I all my days could gladly spend.
       —Samuel Crossman (c. 1624–1683)
       (Listen to the whole hymn here.)

(Next week: Some thoughts about Chinese New Year related to mission. Illustration by Dave Baab. If you’d like to get an email when I post on this blog, sign up under “subscribe” in the right hand column of the whole webpage.)

This is the last post in a series excerpted from my book, Friending: Real Relationships in a Virtual World. The second half of the book describes the skills that help us act like a friend. Whether you read my whole book or not, I invite you to ponder the ways God is calling you to grow in actions that nurture friendship. (I am offering copies of the book at a discount price. It works well for small groups because it has discussion questions at the end. Contact me at LMBaab[at] if you’re interested. The email address in last week's post was wrong, so sorry, fixed now.) Previous posts in this series:

Nuturing friendships in a cellphone world                
Strong opinions and responses                 
My conversation partners about friendship          
Two views about commmunication technologies            
Changing defintions of friendship                 
Confidence about friendship                
Friendship with God                  
Jesus as friend                      
Friendship with Christ and friendship with others
Who is my neighbor?                      
Friendship as action  

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