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A New New Year’s Tradition

Friday, December 30, 2016 @ 9:39 AM
A New New Year’s Tradition New lyrics set to an old, familiar tune urge God’s people to consider the glory of Christ preeminent in all things past, present, and future.
What an appropriate reminder for a New Year’s Day that falls on the Lord’s Day. - Rusty Benson

On Sunday at the stroke of midnight, all over the English-speaking world, people will join together to sing “Auld Lang Syne.” The song is credited to Scotland’s national poet Robert Burns (1759-1796), although he once wrote that many of the lyrics came from the singing of an old man. Apparently, it was such an old song that the lyrics had never been written down, as far as Burns knew. 

It’s an ancient melancholy lyric and melody that encourage the listener to look to the past as he considers the future. Idiomatically, auld lang syne means “for the sake of old times,” or “days gone by.” Obviously, that explains why it’s become a tradition to sing it on the new year. 

The first line of the song asks: Should auld acquaintance be forgot, / and never brought to mind? / Should auld acquaintance be forgot, / and auld lang syne? 

Roughly translated, the lyric rhetorically asks if we should remember old relations, places, and events as we step into the future. It evokes a nostalgic sense of fellowship and belonging across the generations. 

Here’s a link to a beautiful rendering of “Auld Lang Syne” by Jim Malcolm, a wonderful Scottish singer who also often performs as Robert Burns. 

But the real reason I bring your attention to “Auld Lang Syne” is to introduce you to another song that uses the same melody. However, rather than encouraging a nostalgic look at the old days, this new song urges God’s people to consider the glory of Christ preeminent in all things past, present, and future. What an appropriate reminder for a New Year’s Day that falls on the Lord’s Day. 

The melody may be ancient, but the lyrics are new, written just a few years ago by songwriter Dustin Kensrue. It is titled “All Glory Be to Christ.” 

I know that by the time you read this, it will likely be too late to sing this in worship on Sunday morning, January 1. But maybe not. After all, you already know the melody, and the words fall exactly where you would expect. 

At any rate, this weekend as you gather with family and friends to bring in 2017 maybe you can begin a new New Year’s tradition. 

For you guitar players, here’s a link to the chords. 

In addition, there are plenty of renditions on YouTube including this one recorded at Together for the Gospel III. 

 

All Glory Be To Christ

Should nothing of our efforts stand
No legacy survive
Unless the Lord does raise the house
In vain its builders strive
 

To you who boast tomorrow’s gain
Tell me what is your life
A mist that vanishes at dawn

All glory be to Christ!

Refrain

All glory be to Christ our king!
All glory be to Christ!
His rule and reign will ever sing,
All glory be to Christ!
 

His will be done
His kingdom come
On earth as is above
Who is Himself our daily bread
Praise Him the Lord of love
 

Let living water satisfy
The thirsty without price
We’ll take a cup of kindness yet
All glory be to Christ!
 

Refrain 

When on the day the great I Am
The faithful and the true
The Lamb who was for sinners slain
Is making all things new.
 

Behold our God shall live with us
And be our steadfast light
And we shall ere his people be
All glory be to Christ!
 

Words by Dustin Kensrue,  © Dead Bird Theology (ASCAP), It’s All About Jesus Music (ASCAP)

Rusty Benson Associate Editor, AFA Journal More Articles SHOW COMMENTS
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