O God, Our Help in Ages Past: A Hymn for New Year’s Day

1 Our God, our Help in ages past,
our Hope for years to come,
our Shelter from the stormy blast,
and our eternal Home.

2 Under the shadow of Thy throne
Thy saints have dwelt secure;
sufficient is Thine arm alone,
and our defense is sure.

3 Before the hills in order stood
or earth received its frame,
from everlasting Thou art God,
to endless years the same.

4 A thousand ages in Thy sight
are like an ev’ning gone,
short as the watch that ends the night
before the rising sun.

5 Time, like an ever-rolling stream,
bears all its sons away;
they fly forgotten, as a dream
dies at the op’ning day.

6 Our God, our Help in ages past,
our Hope for years to come,
be Thou our Guide while life shall last,
and our eternal Home!

Written by Isaac Watts and published in 1719, the hymn is a paraphrase of Psalm 90. It’s a particular favorite of mine and especially appropriate as we think about the coming year.

Extravagant Gestures: A Sermon for the Fifth Sunday in Lent

Fifth Sunday in Lent

March 21, 2010

The anointing of Jesus is one of the few stories other than the crucifixion itself that appears in all four gospels. But there are such significant differences among the gospel accounts, that it is not at all clear they are describing the same event. John’s version bears some resemblance the story in Mark and Matthew. In all three, there is a clear connection between this story and the crucifixion.

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