The Worship Quote of the Week for (12/17/1996):

Gathered Round Your Table
This week the WORSHIP QUOTE is a powerful Christmas Eve communion poem by the
gifted Canadian hymn writer Margaret Clarkson. Like many of the great hymns
and carols of Advent and Christmas, this text contrasts the joy and grief of
the season - the joy of Messiah's birth, the grief of his sacrificial death.

Gathered round your table on this holy eve,
Viewing Bethlehem's stable we rejoice and grieve.
Joy to see you lying in your manger bed.
Weep to see you dying in our sinful stead.

Prince of Glory, gracing heav'n e'er time began,
Now for us embracing death as Son of Man.
By your birth so lowly, by your love so true,
By your cross most holy, Lord, we worship you!

Bethlehem's incarnation, Calvary's bitter cross
Wrought for us salvation by your pain and loss.
Now we fall before you in this holy place.
Prostrate we adore you for gift of grace.

With profoundest wonder, we your body take -
Laid in manger yonder broken for our sake.
Hushed in adoration we approach the cup -
Bethlehem's pure oblation freely offered up.

Christmas Babe so tender, Lamb who bore our blame,
How shall sinners render praises due your Name?
Do your own good pleasure in the lives we bring;
In your ransomed treasure reign forever King!

---- Margaret Clarkson (1959), as found in A SINGING HEART, Hope Publishing
Company, 1987. The hymn is included in Word Publishing Company's HYMNAL FOR
WORSHIP AND CELEBRATION in a lovely setting by Tom Fettke under the title "A
Communion Hymn for Christmas." Our choir and congregation sing it once each
year, as the bread and cup are passed at our Christmas Eve candlelight
communion service. Give it a try.

Have a great week,

Chip Stam