Molly Ijames and I recently teamed on a choral piece entitled Waves of Praise. Molly did a masterful job with the composition, and it has been recognized as an “Editor’s Choice” by JW Pepper. Her cascading accompaniment beautifully conveys the ideas of the text. It’s a new genre for me—an art project, not a hymn, and thus a bit more figurative. Still, while it stretched me a bit, it was a joy to meditate on Scripture’s frequent use of water imagery to describe various aspects of the Christian life. The text culminates with an allusion to Habakkuk 2:14’s prophecy of God’s ultimate, irresistible triumph: “For the earth will be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord as the waters cover the sea.”
Waves of Praise
Let waves of praise ascend to God
In answer to His love;
So love, poured down and spread abroad,
Like tide, returns above.
Let springs of gladness rise to God
From grateful hearts below—
Each song a swell of praise and laud,
Each pray’r, an overflow.
Let streams of life be sent from God
And run through all the earth,
That souls too dry for bloom or bud
May drink and know rebirth!
Let waves of praise ascend to God—
An ocean, full and free!—
Till glory, like a mighty flood,
Consumes the world like sea.
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