The sermon at Fuller this week comes from the story of Moses’ birth and adoption by Pharoah’s daughter (Exodus 2:1-10), exploring Moses as a foreshadowing of Christ. As I looked for appropriate songs to sing, I came across a once-popular hymn by William Hammond called, “Awake and Sing the Song.” This hymnic rabbit trail led to the original 1745 publication of Hammond’s poem that featured no less than 14 verses! The rabbit trail continued to Revelation 15:2-4 in which the harp-wielding saints sing the “song of God’s servant Moses and of the Lamb.” Pure worship planning gold.
Naturally, I felt the need to write a new tune for it–it’s who I am. I knew the text called for a tune as rough as a sea chanty, as epic as a murder ballad, and as joyously raucous as a shape-note hymn. What I came up with is a pentatonic melody that is equal parts “What Wondrous Love” and “Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner.” I’m quite pleased with it. (And that’s not always the case after singing a dozen takes of a new melody while recording a demo.) I was also pleased that I was able to work in my favorite phrase from the original hymn, “we, his miracles of grace.”
The one remaining question: does it need a chorus? Musically, it feels complete without it, but thematically we are being called to sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, but we never do. The actual song appears in Rev 15:3-4:
“Great and marvelous are your deeds,
Lord God Almighty.
Just and true are your ways,
King of the nations.
Who will not fear you, Lord,
and bring glory to your name?
For you alone are holy.
All nations will come
and worship before you,
for your righteous acts have been revealed.”
I have a chorus drafted. If enough people request it, I’ll add it.