This Sunday’s sermon is titled “Will You Stand in the Breach?” Picking a theme for our songs was a no-brainer! There are many songs that have “stand” in the title or feature the word stand, although there are less contemporary songs that fit this theme than you might think. (Our “newest” song in this set list was written in 1994.) As always, in order to fit more songs, we’ll have a couple great medleys.
1. Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus
This is a great anthem to begin our worship. The lyrics were inspired by Dudley Tyng, a preacher who spoke out against slavery. On his deathbed, his words were “Stand up for Jesus, and tell my brethren of the ministry to stand up for Jesus.” George Duffield attended Dudley’s funeral and was deeply stirred by his dying sentiment. He wrote these words as a poem, and they were later put to music.
2. Standing on the Promises
We can flow right into this song, as it is written in the same key as the last. Much like the last song, this song was also born out of someone being on their death bed. Russell Kelso Carter had been resisting the advice of physicians, and broke down to the point of nearly dying. He knew he had not been living his life for the Lord, and felt reluctant to ask for healing. After some reflection, he did pray for healing and offered his life in service to God. He was healed and went about the Lord’s work, including writing this song.
3. I Stand Amazed
This song only mentions the word “stand” once, but the song has reasons to “stand amazed” throughout. We will sing the first verse and the fourth verse, which reminds us of what Jesus went through at Calvary. That will serve as a great segue into our next song.
4. I Stand in Awe
This song (which can be sung in the same key as the last song) continues the thought of being amazed by standing in awe. This is actually a great lead-in to communion when you use the lesser known second verse: “You are beautiful beyond description, yet God crushed You for my sin. In agony and deep affliction, cut off that I might enter in. Who can grasp such tender compassion, who can fathom this mercy so free? You are beautiful beyond description, Lamb of God, who died for me.”
5. Where No One Stands Alone
All of our songs focus on our standing with God. This is the one song that really puts the focus on standing with our brothers and sisters. That’s an important concept to remember. Life is hard sometimes, and there are times when we don’t feel strong enough to stand on our own, or we may feel alone as if we’re the only one standing. This song is a great reminder that no one stands alone!
6. Firm Foundation
Nancy Gordon and Jamie Harvill had come close to having a song they wrote together recorded by a Nashville artist. When it ended up not getting recorded, they called each other and admitted they had placed their hope in a song and not in God. The conversation that followed is what turned into “Firm Foundation.”
7. Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Traditionally, this song gets associated with funerals. It is true that Thomas Dorsey wrote these words after losing his wife and infant son. However, I hate for this song to be put in such a box. The lyrics that talk about life being almost gone and near the end can be taken in many different ways. At times, we all feel beaten down in life like we can’t stand anymore, but all we have to do is ask God to take our hand and help us stand. (Interesting side note: I just discovered that the tune to this song is a derivative of “Must Jesus Bear the Cross Alone.” All these years singing this song and I never made that association!)
8. Hilltops of Glory
We continue to stand in faith in this life in hopes of the place we will stand in the future: Hilltops of Gloryland!
ORDER OF WORSHIP
Stand Up, Stand Up For Jesus (1,3,4)
Standing on the Promises (3,4)
I Stand Amazed (1,4)
I Stand in Awe
Where No One Stands Alone (1)
SCRIPTURE READING – Ezekiel 22:29-30
Take My Hand, Precious Lord
Hilltops of Glory (1)