Awesome Wonder!

How great are your works, LORD (Psalm 92:5)

It may have been an exceedingly early start on a cold and cloudless Winter’s morning, but any grumpiness I may have felt was soon dispelled by the glorious sight of the old Oak tree cocooned within soft moonlight.  Sadly, the moment passed all too soon; the new day was beckoning, and the moon was slipping away, its work over for another night.  Momentarily transfixed, these words came to mind:

O Lord, my God, when I in awesome wonder
Consider all the worlds Thy Hands have made
I see the stars …
Thy power throughout the universe displayed.

As with so many things, my witness to this fleeting moment was simply a case of being in the right place at the right time.  Indeed, had it not been for Carl Boberg, a Swedish Lay Minister hearing the church bells ringing in the calm aftermath of a ferocious thunderstorm in 1855, these favoured words might never have come into being.   

Deeply moved and, it is believed, with these words in mind:

There is no one like the God of Jeshurun,
who rides across the heavens to help you
and on the clouds in his majesty (Deuteronomy 33:26)

Boberg penned a nine-verse poem which was published under the title of O Great God. Met with little favour or enthusiasm it was destined to be lost and forgotten until, a few years later, it was rescued from obscurity and its words applied to the music of a traditional Swedish melody. 

Re-energised, Boberg republished his work under the new name of How Great Thou Art in the newspaper he edited, together with the music score; the poem’s renaissance was complete. To this day it goes from strength to strength and remains a treasured favourite.

Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art
Then sings my soul, my Saviour God, to Thee
How great Thou art, how great Thou art


p.s. Enjoy Chris Lawton playing “How Great Thou Art” (but not at Cockshutt!)

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