He will rejoice over you with singing

He will rejoice over you with singing

‘He will take delight in you, he will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing.’ (Zephaniah 3:17)
‘He says, ‘ … in the presence of the congregation I will sing.’ (Hebrews 2:12)

Steve Phillips at the springtime Eagle Camp,
referring to angelic ministry,
of which we’re mostly unaware, said, ‘God
at times the veil has parted recently
that otherwise obscures them from our ken.’

A man of eighty years was sent by God
to seek him out and, should Steve so desire,
relate to him as ‘a spiritual granddad’ –
a veteran of the nineteen forty-eight
Latter Rain revival – heaven on earth:
‘As corporately we’d get lost in God,
while worshipping in spirit and in truth,
the Spirit as a fountain could be seen.
Advancing from the stage towards us all,
at leisure he touched people row by row,
caused miracles where’er that river flowed.’

Then, with a merry twinkle in his eye,
he recollected how they’d hear the song
of angels harmonising with their praise.
‘We’d stop our human music when enthralled
by such high praise, one octave, even more
beyond our pitch, with awesome, out-of-this-world
harmonies …
… such songs you too will hear.’

Then, what old Erskine Holt reported next
near wrenched the very heart from out my breast;
it ached as, pen and notebook laid aside
and eyes awash with tears, in silence I
sighed, ‘Jesus, please, grant me this privilege.’

‘Twice in those days,’ said Holt, ‘I even heard
the Bridegroom’s serenading his Belov’d,
exulting in his passion o’er his Bride.’

This song will thrill our souls eternally,
But, oh that I might sense it now on earth
While still inhabiting this mortal flesh.
Bless’d Groom, attune my spirit’s inner ear,
adjust the focus of my eye of faith,
till even I can consciously engage
the deepest, nuptial longings of your heart
to see your blood-bought Bride arrayed in white
wedding gown of active righteousness,
and may convey the longing in your tone
that calls your church effectively to dress
in beauteous garments of true holiness,
voice our response in antiphonal fugue:
‘Even so, Lord Jesus, quickly come,
escort us to the marriage of the Lamb;
transform these weary bodies of decay
into the risen image of your own
and truly satisfy your heart’s desire.’

Hugh Thompson
(Weston-super-mare, 15 June 1998)

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