FROM SECRET TO PUBLIC PRAISE

(James 1:17) “Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow.”

In 1674, an Anglican priest wrote a simple song of praise for his students at England’s Winchester College. Although the lyrics expressed praise to God for his wonderful blessings, he was careful to warn the boys to only sing the hymn in the privacy of their dorm rooms during their personal devotions.

At that time the church believed hymns should only include words directly from the Bible. Using your own lyrics was like adding words to Scripture. Blasphemy! “Praise should be words ‘consistent’ with Scripture,” they would say.

Fortunately this hymn, which is referred to as the Doxology today, was soon taken from the shadows and saw its popularity quickly spread. Do you catch the irony here? This hymn, first used in secret worship, quickly became the most frequently sung piece of music used in public worship. There is a lesson in this for us. Take the time and opportunity to make your secret praises public during this season of Thanksgiving.

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