June 22, 2011

Worship Wednesday: Rock of Ages

A couple years ago my mother gave me a precious gift - one of our family hymnals. It is priceless to me. I grew up singing from it. If a Minnesota snowstorm canceled church we would use the book during our family church service and I remember practicing my piano lessons from it. Now the hymnal is a key component to my "quiet time" with God. One of my favorite times to sing the sweet songs is when I am washing dishes or doing my other daily chores. I prop the book up, sift through the pages, and, without fail, land on a song that renews me.

One of my favorite hymns is "Rock of Ages". The heartfelt and soothing words are an anthem of my faith.

Rock of Ages
 by Reverend Augustus Montague Toplady written in 1763

Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee;
let the water and the blood,
from thy wounded side which flowed,
be of sin the double cure;
save from wrath and make me pure.

Not the labors of my hands
can fulfill thy law's commands;
could my zeal no respite know,
could my tears forever flow,
all for sin could not atone;
thou must save, and thou alone.

Nothing in my hand I bring,
simply to the cross I cling;
naked, come to thee for dress;
helpless, look to thee for grace;
foul, I to the fountain fly;
wash me, Savior, or I die.

While I draw this fleeting breath,
when mine eyes shall close in death,
when I soar to worlds unknown,
see thee on thy judgment throne,
Rock of Ages, cleft for me,
let me hide myself in thee.

What is your favorite hymn?


  1. Greetings from Wordwise Hymns. Your reference to "Rock of Ages" caught my eye because I posted an article on it myself this morning. And I enjoyed your comments about singing hymns while doing the dishes or doing other work around the house.

    It brought back memories. Our son and his Mom often did that doing the dishes together, when he was a boy. Now Jim's serving as a missionary in Mexico, with his wife and family, and sometimes writes his own songs. God bless.

  2. @Robert: What a wonderful memory! I grew up watching my grandmother sing hymns (when I was visiting her) while working in the kitchen. I enjoyed reading through your website. I have always enjoyed the history and theology behind the rich words of hymns.


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