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Join us as we journey through the 2022 Lenten Season. Between March 2nd and April 17th, we will Fast and Pray every Wednesday. The fasting period will begin at 12 am and end at 6 pm. During this period we will collectively pray at 6 am, 12 pm, and 6 pm using the morning conference line (518-351-9376). You may only consume water or 100% juice during this period. Note: If you take medication and require food, please eat a light meal if possible. We will not be fasting Thursdays through Tuesdays, but we will still collectively pray at 6 am. We encourage you to give up something as a sacrifice to God during this journey. Mediations will be posted daily to our website and FaceBook page. When you feel like giving up, think of Jesus' sacrifice for us, and let that be your motivation through this period.

“Holy, Holy, Holy” by Reginald Heber

by Dr. Zelda Robinson on March 8, 2022
Lent is a time of spiritual reflection. It is a time to reflect on the greatness of God. He is merciful and compassionate, and He is holy, wise, and mighty. I believe we do not fully understand the greatness of God because we think of Him in the limitations of our finite minds. He is greater than anything we could ever imagine, while at the same time He is always showing Himself to us. He desires for us to know Him intimately.

I like the hymn, but there are some that I love. I love them because the words and the music allow me to see God in a way that I cannot always explain. The lyrics, along with the music, express God intimately. The hymns were inspired by some event in the lives of the people who wrote them, that allow us today to feel God’s presence as we sing them. One of those hymns is, “Holy, Holy, Holy.”

This is a song of church that I remember well. This phrase is found in the Bible twice, once in the Old Testament (Isaiah 6:3) and once in the New Testament (Revelation 4:8). Each time the phrase is used, it is used by angelic host who worship God. In each case, the phrase occurs in a vision of someone who gets a glimpse of the throne of God. Like the verses of scripture, the hymn expresses the awesomeness of God. It is all about God and who He is, He is holy.  

The author of this hymn, Reginald Heber, is said to have been inspired by Revelation chapters 4 and 5. This is clear from the first stanza. In Revelation, the apostle John describes a scene in which he sees four living creatures, most likely cherubim, around the throne of God. The angelic host are praising God, singing day and night, “Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, who was and is and is to come.” Revelation 4:8 The next line reminds me of the scene Isaiah describes at his call and conversion, in Isaiah chapter 6. He states: 
“In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord, high and exalted, seated on a throne; and the train of his robe filled the temple. 2 Above him were seraphim, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. 3 And they were calling to one another: “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord Almighty; the whole earth is full of his glory.” Isaiah 6:1-3

In “A Lenten Journey with Hymns,” Mr. Howell says this hymn is one that, “expresses awe.” He adds, “Being in awe is a gift of worship that you will not stumble upon anywhere else in your life.” “A Lenten Journey With Hymn” pg. 24 I agree this is truly a hymn that evokes worship as you ponder the words:
Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! Early in the morning our song shall rise to thee;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

Holy, holy, holy! All the saints adore thee, casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
cherubim and seraphim falling down before thee, who wert and art and evermore shalt be.

Holy, holy, holy! Though the darkness hide thee, though the eye made blind by sin thy glory may not see,
only thou art holy; there is none beside thee, perfect in power, in love, and purity.

Holy, holy, holy! Lord God Almighty! All thy works shall praise thy name, in earth and sky and sea;
holy, holy, holy! merciful and mighty, God in three persons, blessed Trinity! 

The hymn causes us to recognize the holiness of God, acknowledge the Trinity, and exalt the One true God. God in three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, blessed Trinity. God is holy and we are commanded to be holy. He is not calling us to do something we cannot do. He is not requiring us to be perfectly sinless on our own. He is saying we must choose to be different from the world, separated from what is sinful.

The Hebrew word for “holy”, kodesh, comes from the root word “Kadash.” It means, “to be set apart for a specific purpose.”  When the Bible calls something holy, it is not speaking of purity or righteousness, instead it is referring to something (someone) that is “set apart,” set apart from everything else to do a job. God calls us to be ‘holy,’ but we cannot do this apart without Christ.

6 Also in front of the throne there was what looked like a sea of glass, clear as crystal. In the center, around the throne, were four living creatures, and they were covered with eyes, in front and in back. 7 The first living creature was like a lion, the second was like an ox, the third had a face like a man, the fourth was like a flying eagle. 8 Each of the four living creatures had six wings and was covered with eyes all around, even under its wings. Day and night they never stop saying: “‘Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty,’ who was, and is, and is to come.” Revelation 4:6-8
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