Sursum Corda: A Meditation and Hymn on the Lifting of Hearts

So it happened again.  I sit there innocently enough in church, and when the sermon starts, my mind wanders to some related topic, and phrases kinda pop into my head and don’t leave.  Always obedient to the Muse, I take paper from the bulletin and start scribbling. I hope the preacher doesn’t mind; the sermon often lays down a bed of faithful words that gives irresistible rise to words of my own. I think of it as a kind of offering or surrender.

Not too long ago, I looked into the Psalms after a long night of trouble, wakefulness, and tears.  At church that morning, the Psalm portion also echoed the comfort I have found in that old Hebrew songbook.  And I kept thinking too about the sursum corda, that part of the service where we sing “Lift up your hearts to the Lord our God.”  It’s an act of will, of course, all this deliberate rejoicing that gives no quarter to however we may feel at the moment.

At the start of the sermon, the priest mentioned a hymn, “In Christ Alone.”  That was all it took.

He Hears Our Cries

Verse
Here I have wandered
Far from the Grace of God
Into the darkest
Night of my soul

And can You find me
Here where my feet have strayed
And somehow make me
Heart-safe and whole?

Chorus
He knows no darkness
He knows no night
He sees our sorrows
He hears our cries

We lift our hearts up
We lift our eyes
Strong now to save us
He hears our cries

Verse
So now I stumble
Seeking the Grace of God
Confess I cannot
Make my own way

Will You still help me
Though I keep falling down
Somehow restore me
Teach me to say

(Repeat Chorus)

Verse
So as You help us
Live in the Grace of God
So we will follow
So we shall stand

And as You love us
We will rejoice in You
We lay our lives down
Lift up our hands

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