Hymns and Tunes by Mark D. Rhoads

You may copy these hymns for one-time use. As a courtesy, please notify me of such use. Hymns with new tunes are available in pdf format by clicking on the tune name. All other hymns can be copied in text-only format and sung to the suggested tune or the tune of your choice.

God Will Not Let Us Go
NATHAN (Melody only)
NATHAN (Melody with Descants)
(As sung at the C. S. Lewis Society conference, San Diego, Summer, 2007)

God will not let us go;
we know this from the past.
God's love will far outlast
oooour highest expectation.
We've seen in through the years,
in joys and helpless tears:
oooa steady confirmation.

God's Word explains the love
that seals the bond of peace,
and offers full release
ooofrom conflict's sad division.
We shrink from love's demands,
but God's pure love expands
ooobeyond our comprehension.

God's love will stand secure
when war and violence rage;
when fire and flood engage
oooin sweeping devastation.
Though fear can hide the face,
no loss can test the grace
oooof God, the Great Physician.

God's love will never fail,
we trust from hour to hour;
rest only in its power
oooin all of life's transition.
Our future is not clear,
except that God is near,
oooand God will be our vision.

© 2005 Mark D. Rhoads


The Rising Sun Blazed out of Night

The rising Sun blazed out of night
to wash our darkened world with light.
This radiant light, this blazing Sun
is Jesus Christ the Promised One.

No regal rite, no royal dress,
he comes in perfect humbleness:
a helpless child, a cattle shed,
a manger for a birthing bed.

The Broken Bread, the Blood-red Wine
lies sleeping where some cows recline.
The cross, the grave, the empty tomb,
we dimly see from that small room.

Salvation dawns as God had willed.
The prophet's word has been fulfilled.
That Word in flesh and blood is come,
Immanuel, the Holy One.

Sing out the songs of joy today;
the grip of sin is torn away.
Give thanks, the Prince of Peace is here.
The kingdom of our God is near.

© 2000 Mark D. Rhoads


As a Doe Whose Forest Home
(Based on Psalm 42)

As a doe whose forest home in scorched by fire
searches for a drop of dew or supple leaf,
so my thirsty spirit, parched by pain and fear,
seeks the dew of hope where hope seems lost in grief.

"Where is God?" they ask; my answer vague, unsure.
"Are you there, my God?" is all my lips can trace.
Day and night my tears have been my only food,
and my stinging eyes desire to see God's face.

Memory stirs as I recall God's faithful care:
tender mercies, more than reason can explain.
"Hope in God!" I say, my answer to despair;
I will trust God's ceaseless love in joy and pain.

© 2000 Mark D. Rhoads


Holy Spirit, Fire of Mercy

Holy Spirit, fire of mercy,
burn away the chaff of sin.
May your all-consuming radiance
purify us from within.
Flame of kindness, bright compassion
show us where we go astray.
Shine your light on lust and anger,
lead us to the perfect day.

Holy Spirit, wind of power,
fill the sails that hang so still.
Point our bow toward heaven's treasures,
set our course to do your will.
Breath of God refresh our spirits
when despair is all we know.
Into every sinking sadness,
may your stillness gently flow.

Holy Spirit, living water,
flowing from the source of life;
bathe the wounds cut deep by slander;
heal the scars of hate and strife.
Flood of mercy, drown our discord;
cleansing fountain, wash us clean.
Make our lives a peaceful river,
flowing like a healing stream.

Holy Spirit, walk beside us,
do your promised work of grace.
Wind and Fire and Water shape us,
build the church in love and faith.
As we eat the Meal together,
taste redemptions work begun,
Holy Spirit, by your power,
unify us, make us one.

© 2001 Mark D. Rhoads


Light! Light! A Shattering Light

Light! Light! a shattering light
ooothat breaks the chains of darkness;
the Sun of Righteousness revealed,
the hope of all the helpless.
God's mercy intercedes,
and we are freed,
and we are freed.

Song! Song! a breathtaking song
ooothat ended years of waiting;
the shepherds heard it in the fields
and marveled in their quaking.
"In Bethlehem this morn,
a Savior's born,
a Savior's born."

Star! Star! spectacular star,
oooa sign of new-born rulers;
the Magi followed from the east
with boxes full of treasures.
And found an infant king;
the King of Kings,
the King of Kings.

Gift! Gift! unspeakable gift,
ooofulfilling God's intentions:
the only Son was sent to earth
to seal the world's redemption.
And we're assured a place
in boundless grace,
in boundless grace.

© 2003 Mark D. Rhoads


Many Nations, Yet One People
(As sung for World Communion Sunday at White Memorial Presbyterian Church, Raleigh, NC, October, 2008)

Many nations, yet one people,
hand in hand around the world;
gathered at one common table,
singing praises to one Lord.
Universal Church declare him
Christ the cornerstone and head.
As one body bow before him
drink one cup and eat one bread.

There on Pentecost it started;
all were gathered in one place.
There the Holy Spirit granted
each to hear in spite of race.
First the Jews in every language
heard of resurrection life.
Now the healing gospel message
call us all from sin and strife.

Thousands name the name of Jesus;
thousands answer to his call.
Thousands who have gone before us,
trust the Christ who died for all.
Faithful servants tell the story,
prompted by the Spirit's voice;
to the Church are added daily,
thousands who in Christ rejoice.

Come believers from all nations,
called from darkness into light;
praise the God of your salvation,
praise to Christ who won the fight.
You are called a royal priesthood,
set apart by God's own choice;
mercy flows where sin abounded,
sing with thankful heart and voice.

© 2001 Mark D. Rhoads


The God of All Creation

The God of all creation
comes down to this small earth.
The God of our salvation
is Christ by human birth.
Repenting, we receive him:
by mercy we are awed.
Like John we humbly greet him,
"Behold, the lamb of God."

With faithful expectation,
through years of bitter pain,
the prophets saw salvation,
Messiah's earthly reign.
The people cried in sorrow,
"How long, O Lord, how long?"
Now Christ has struck the deathblow
to crush the power of wrong.

Immanuel, God-With-Us,
the Word with human face;
Messiah, Savior, Jesus:
through him comes truth and grace.
In Christ is life unbounded;
that life, the light revealed.
The darkness is confounded;
salvation's plan is sealed.

Announce the feast of welcome
the reign of Christ begun.
His scepter: truth and wisdom;
his throne: our hearts as one.
Bow low in adoration;
receive the gift with praise.
The song of free salvation,
we'll sing for countless days.

© 2000 Mark D. Rhoads


Worship the Lord with your Gift of Obedience

Worship the Lord with your gift of obedience,
make your praise active by serving the poor.
Bow down in thankfulness, bow down in penitence,
come in humility, come and adore.

Ponder God's mercy on all who are helplessly
chained in a prison of sin's cruel devise.
Freed from your bondage to worship in purity,
give up your life in complete sacrifice.

"If you would love me and be my true follower,
do everything I have asked you to do.
Give a cool drink to the road-weary traveler;
love one another as I have loved you."

Worship the Lord with your gift if integrity.
Make it your task to obey Christ's commands.
Love with sincerity, serve other selflessly;
God offers grace to this world through your hands.

© 2000 Mark D. Rhoads