Great Way to Start the Day

Do you ever have moments where something from the deep recesses of your past pops into your mind? This morning I had one of those moments. I was just waking up, noticing the glimpses of sunlight peeking around my window shade when the words to an old hymn took over my thoughts. “When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries: May Jesus Christ be praised!” What an absolutely fabulous way to start the day – praising God!

The early (or not SO early) morning song in my head sent me to the computer to be reminded of the rest of the words from this 19th century hymn. I actually found many versions; not all with the same lyrics but the general theme is the same through all of them. In every situation, good or bad, praise be to Jesus Christ. What a great truth.

Just as the song had popped into my head this morning, another memory poked its way into my brain as I read the words to this great hymn of faith. I recalled being at church, standing next to my grandfather who was, by then, quite a bit along in years. Like this hymn, the one we sang in church that morning had several verses. As I stood there, holding my hymnbook, Boppa leaned over to me and said “I don’t sing songs with more than three verses.” With that he closed his hymnal and put it back in the rack. You don’t have to dig very deep in the gene pool to figure out from whom I get my forthrightness.

Just read the words to this beautiful hymn. What a beautiful reminder to offer praise to the One whom it is due; in everything . . . at all times.

When morning gilds the skies my heart awaking cries:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Alike at work and prayer, to Jesus I repair:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Whene’er the sweet church bell peals over hill and dell,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
O hark to what it sings, as joyously it rings,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

The night becomes as day when from the heart we say:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
The powers of darkness fear when this sweet chant they hear:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Ye nations of mankind, in this your concord find,
May Jesus Christ praised!
Let all the earth around ring joyous with the sound,
May Jesus Christ praised!

In Heav’n’s eternal bliss the loveliest strain is this,
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Let earth, and sea and sky from depth to height reply,
May Jesus Christ be praised!

Be this, while life is mine, my canticle divine:
May Jesus Christ be praised!
Sing this eternal song through all the ages long:
May Jesus Christ be praised!

I found a sing-along version of this song on You Tube; a hymn karaoke, if you will. There were loads of versions to choose from, but I picked this because of the pictures. As you know, I’m big on pictures. And, Boppa would probably put up with this one; it only plays four verses.