Awake, my soul, and with the sun
Thy daily stage of duty run;
Shake off dull sloth, and joyful rise,
To pay thy morning sacrifice. . . .
Praise God, from Whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heavenly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
This weekend Theresa (my wife) and I are assisting with the Christian Medical and Dental Associations (CMDA) Northeast Winter Retreat. What a joy to serve not only Emerging Scholars, but also future health care professionals! As we prepared for the weekend, Michael Gungor’s rendition of the Doxology kept coming back to me . . .
Join me in praying that as we [followers of Christ in higher ed] awake each and every day, we will offer our head, heart, and hands in praise to God alone. And that we will continue to live in such a manner as part of the people of God throughout all the days of our life in all that we learn, say, share, practice . . . To God be the glory!
- [Thomas] Ken wrote this hymn [Awake, My Soul, and with the Sun (1674)] at a time when the established church believed only Scripture should be sung as hymns—with an emphasis on the Psalms. Some considered it sinful and blasphemous to write new lyrics for church music, akin to adding to the Scriptures. In that atmosphere, Ken wrote this and several other hymns for the boys at Winchester College, with strict instructions that they use them only in their rooms, for private devotions. Ironically, the last stanza has come into widespread use as the Doxology, perhaps the most frequently used piece of music in public worship. At Ken’s request, the hymn was sung at his funeral, fittingly held at sunrise. — The Cyberhymnal, http://cyberhymnal.org/htm/p/r/praisegf.htm. ↩
About the author:
Tom enjoys daily conversations regarding living out the Biblical Story with his wife Theresa and their four girls, around the block, at Elizabethtown Brethren in Christ Church (where he teaches adult electives and co-leads a small group), among healthcare professionals as the Northeast Regional Director for the Christian Medical & Dental Associations (CMDA), and in higher ed as a volunteer with the Emerging Scholars Network (ESN). For a number of years, the Christian Medical Society / CMDA at Penn State College of Medicine was the hub of his ministry with CMDA. Note: Tom served with InterVarsity Christian Fellowship / USA for 20+ years, including 6+ years as the Associate Director of ESN. He has written for the ESN blog from its launch in August 2008. He has studied Biology (B.S.), Higher Education (M.A.), Spiritual Direction (Certificate), Spiritual Formation (M.A.R.), Ministry to Emerging Generations (D.Min.). To God be the glory!