The Question Column

The Question Column

A subscriber to Ministry in Focus has submitted the following questions:

1. In the gathering together on the Lord’s Day to remember the Lord in His death, is it orderly to use short quotations from the scriptures, or from a hymn, in prayer or in actually giving thanks for the bread or the cup?

2. In the prayer meeting, is it in order likewise to quote from the Scriptures or to quote a short portion from a hymn?

We are indebted to Mr. William E. Belch of Peterborough, Ontario, for the following answers to these questions.

1. I would suggest that it is not only orderly to use quotations from the Scriptures, or from a hymn, but it is desirable. What better words of praise could one coin than some of the Psalms? How fitting at the Lord’s Supper to quote from Isaiah 53, or from our Lord’s words in the Gospels, such as: “This is my body which is given for you; this do in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:18). Some of the Saviour’s words regarding His death are most fitting.

Many of our hymns have come from the pens of godly saints while enjoying a deep sense of the Lord’s presence. Thus they have brought forth words, directed by the Spirit of God, to express both their and our worship to God.

For example, consider Philip P. Bliss’ choice words:

“Man of Sorrows,” what a name
For the Son of God who came
Ruined sinners to reclaim!
Hallelujah! what a Saviour!

Or recall Isaac Watt’s precious thoughts:

See from His head, His hands, His feet,
Sorrow and love flow mingled down;
Did e’er such love and sorrow meet,
Or thorns compose so rich a crown?

2.What would be more appropriate for a prayer meeting than to quote from Alexander Stewart’s familiar hymn?

Lord Jesus Christ, we seek Thy face,
Within the veil we bow the knee;
Oh, let Thy glory fill the place,
And bless us while we wait on Thee.

A servant of the Lord said to me years ago, “We need to be more acquainted with the Psalms and use them more in our words of praise.”

* * *

(Please send all questions to Dr. James T. Naismith, 1121 Hilltop St., Peterborough, Ont., K9J 5S6.)