Two years ago I shared with you all about how my kids and I were reading a wonderful story: “The Princess and the Goblin” by George MacDonald. There is a boy in the story named Curdie, who has a special knack for scaring away goblins. He does this simply by singing. For some reason his song is especially pungant to the goblins and everytime he sings in confidence, the nasty things just flee. I love this. I need a song like this… I’m sure many of us feel like we’re surrounded by goblins at times. Especially this year. (The goblins seem to be running amok in 2020!) One of the ways we can keep watch and protect ourselves from our foes as well as our temptations is through prayer and by filling our hearts with thanksgiving (Col 4:2).
In his exposition of Colossians 2: 1-8, John Piper said it best: “Thankfulness is an essential guardian of the soul, and therefore we should guard ourselves with gratitude. Evidently we are fair game for the devil when we don’t abound with thanksgiving. Unless the song of thanksgiving is being sung in our hearts the enemy outside will deceive his way into the city of our soul, and the enemy sympathizers within will make his job easy. So for the sake of your own safety, strive to fill your heart with thanksgiving! Guard yourselves with gratitude!”
Aside from Folliott S. Pierpoint (1835 – 1917) being a hymn writer, not much is known about his life. It is said that 29 year old Pierpoint was sitting on a hilltop somewhere in England, enjoying the beauty of God’s creation and especially the view of the winding Avon river when he was inspired to write the words of this hymn. In it, he speaks forth gratitude for creation, family, friends, the Church, our senses (yes, we included this often left-out verse!), and for God Himself. These are good words to have available to use to guard our hearts with and such beautiful truths to incorporate into our family rhythms this month. Will you join us as we memorize and sing this beautiful song of thanksgiving?
You may or may not be familiar with this hymn. Either way, we invite you to spend this month meditating on its truths. To get you started, we’ve provided free printable lyrics, music and copywork — all found here! Also, you can find fresh versions of the hymn on our YouTube channel that you and your family can sing along with.
If you are new to this community, welcome! It is a great time to join in and make family worship a priority if you haven’t already. You are encouraged to gather up your families, for just a few minutes each day, to sing, discuss and memorize this hymn (following your daily time in the Scriptures and in prayer) whether it is first thing in the morning, or around the dinner table or before bedtime – whatever works best for your family. You can let us know how it’s going by posting either a video or a photo on Instagram. Just tag it with #happyhymnody! As always, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to ask! God bless you all this month as you worship together as a family!
With so much love, April