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Friday, October 14, 2016
Come, thou almighty King,
help us thy name to sing; help us to praise:
Father, all glorious, o’er all victorious,
come, and reign over us, Ancient of Days.
Come, thou incarnate Word,
merciful, mighty Lord, our prayer attend.
Come, and thy people bless, and give thy word success;
Spirit of holiness, on us descend.
“Come, Thou Almighty King,” from Collection of Hymns for Social Worship
(tune: Italian Hymn)
from Glory to God: The Presbyterian Hymnal
“Come, Thou Almighty King” is a beautiful hymn intended for the opening of worship—the lyrics function as an extended invocation in which God is invited to be present in our midst during this time in which we have gathered together. What makes this hymn somewhat distinctive, however, is the way in which it paints a very clear Trinitarian picture in evoking God’s presence.
The first three stanzas are addressed to each member of the Trinity before addressing the Triune God in the final stanza, and the lyrics stress the ways in which each member of the Trinity interacts with us as worshipers. Oftentimes when we offer prayers of invocation we limit our words to the language of Spirit rather than addressing all three persons, but the understanding of Creator, Word, and Advocate draws out a reminder that God’s presence appears in a myriad of ways throughout our lives.
It can be very hard to sense God’s presence in our lives, particularly in periods in which the tumult and noise around us threatens to drown out that still, small voice. But this hymn reminds us that we need only ask to invite God’s presence into our lives and that slowly, but surely, we will come to a deeper understanding of the ways in which God is with us every step of the way.
Almighty God, I humbly ask that you be with me throughout every moment of my day today, both in the quiet moments as well as the loud ones. Give me a sense of your abiding presence, and help to guide my steps. Amen.
Written by Matt Helms, Associate Pastor for Children and Family Ministry
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