Wednesday Worship: The Sands Of Time Are Sinking

When the congregation stood for the arrival of the bride, I watched as they waited for that first glimpse. I knew she was coming, but couldn’t see because of the people around us. Necks craning, heads bent, the crowd strained. Whispers of excitement. Smiles of anticipation. Then at long last her glorious beauty. She was radiant, her eyes fixed only in one place… her future husband’s.

As I watched this story unfold around me, a hymn I sang as a child came to mind: The Sands Of Time Are Sinking. It was one of my mom’s favorites, and it always brings back memories of ivory walls, antique black piano, blue Trinity hymnal and my fingers flying over the keys as mom made supper singing at the top of her lungs with tears of joy on her face (the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree)… “I will not gaze at glory but on my King of Grace.

I thought about how I strain to see Him and how glorious it will be when I finally see my Jesus’ face… only He is the bridegroom and I am the bride. I want to be transfixed with my Savior the way she could only gaze at her bridegroom. I thought about my life… has it been a well-spent journey? I thought about how glorious it is to worship Christ and drink of His beauty here on earth. How wonderful it will be to drink unceasingly of that spring of joy above.

I haven’t been able to get the words out of my head. It was written as a nineteen-stanza poem in the 1800’s by Ann Rose Cousin based on letters written by Samuel Rutherford, the persecuted Scottish minister of the 1600’s. There is the original tune (Rutherford) which I grew up singing, and there is a rewritten tune performed by Indelible Grace. (Personally, I don’t think either tune does justice to the glory of these words, so if any of you aspiring musicians want to work on a rewrite, I’m game.) I can’t stop thinking about these words: The Lamb is all the glory of Emmanual’s Land. Oh, that He would be my focus, my glory here in this pilgrim-weary land!

The Sands of Time Are Sinking

The sands of time are sinking,
The dawn of heaven breaks;
The summer morn I’ve sighed for –
The fair, sweet morn awakes:
Dark, dark had been the midnight
But dayspring is at hand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Emmanuel’s land.

The king there in His beauty,
Without a veil is seen:
It were a well-spent journey,
Though seven deaths lay between:
The Lamb with His fair army,
Doth on Mount Zion stand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Emmanuel’s land

O Christ, He is the fountain,
The deep, sweet well of love!
The streams on earth I’ve tasted
More deep I’ll drink above:
There to an ocean fullness
His mercy doth expand,
And glory, glory dwelleth
In Emmanuel’s land.

The bride eyes not her garment,
But her dear Bridegroom’s face;
I will not gaze at glory
But on my King of grace.
Not at the crown He giveth
But on His pierced hand;
The Lamb is all the glory
Of Emmanuel’s land.

How are you seeing His glory today?

2 responses to “Wednesday Worship: The Sands Of Time Are Sinking”

  1. Tonight I’ve come to conclusion that God ‘s power and glory is beyond my comprehension. It’s not that I’m giving up trying to understand trying to understand; it’s just that I am not fully capable of understand it.

    As I was working in anatomy lab today, I was overcome with awe that God formed human beings out of the dust of the earth. He did that! We were created us in His image. What a beautiful and amazing thing the human body is!

    I love the song by Third Day entitled “You are Mine.” Sometimes I wonder why chose to Call me His child (the song goes). Why did God choose ME to be his bride…why does he chooses any of us? With all our filth and failures, how is it that God still shows mercy on His people? But then the lyrics reminds me that it is remember that it was nothing that I did or can ever do that deserves eternal life…it is ONLY by Jesus’ Sacrifice that I am His and He is mine!

    You Are Mine (by Third Day)

    It doesn’t take much
    For my heart to break
    And you have done it
    For what seems
    The millionth time

    Whenever I hear
    Of your saving grace
    And how you gave your life
    In exchange for mine

    Sometimes I wonder why
    You even love me
    And why you ever
    Chose to call me child
    Then I remember
    It’s by your sacrifice
    I can say that
    I am your’s
    And you are mine

    It doesn’t take much
    For me to shed a tear
    And you have done
    So many things
    To make me cry
    Whenever I think
    Of all that I’ve
    Done wrong
    And everything
    That you have done
    To make it right

    It doesn’t take much
    For my heart to break
    And you have done it
    For what seems
    The millionth time


  2. Seeing my Savior’s glory at the foot of the cross today. I treasure this song sung by Kathryn Thomas (She sang that gorgeous “What a Friend” remix on the CD I gave you.) I am praying for grace to lay EVERY burden down.

    At the foot of the cross
    Where grace and suffering meet
    You have shown me Your love
    Through the judgment You received

    And You’ve won my heart
    Yes You’ve won my heart
    Now I can

    Trade these ashes in for beauty
    And wear forgiveness like a crown
    Coming to kiss the feet of mercy
    I lay every burden down
    At the foot of the cross

    At the foot of the cross
    Where I am made complete
    You have given me life
    Through the death You bore for me

    I’m laying every burden down
    I’m laying every burden down


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