September 27, 2020

Singing to the Lord

Passage: Psalm 108.5; Mark 1: 16 – 18; 2 Samuel 7: 22; Luke 19: 37;

ST ANDREW’S PRESBYTERIAN CHURCH

SEPTEMBER  27  2020

 

LIGHTING OF THE CHRIST CANDLE

 

ENTRY OF THE WORD

 

ANNOUNCEMENTS

  • Thank you Rev. Shirley Cochrane for leading us in worship today, may God bless us all to his glory.
  • Todays Worship Service  will have a different  format than  usual -Singing to the Lord  expresses it well  A short meditation with each hymn  will include  a bit of biographical information on the author  and  a theological thought  on why they  chose to write  the hymn .Much of the information is taken from a book I own titled “Then Sings My Soul” and from various Internet sites.  I invite you to read in unison the scriptural reference for each hymn
  • There will be a touch-less communion service at St. Andrews on Sunday Oct 4th. You will pick up your communion cup and wafer at the check in desk and open it at the appropriate part of the service. For those of you who still don't feel comfortable coming to worship there will be options on the website to enable you to participate. There will be a video of the communion service posted along with the sermon ( the video will be online mid-afternoon Sunday). If you are unable to view the video, the printed prayers will be there as well. All you will need is to have some juice and bread ready.
  • Octobers Loonie Offering will be going to St. Andrew's Hall a part of VST on the campus of UBC. This offering has traditionally gone to help fund the lunch program but because of the Covid 19 pandemic that may change; I am sure that St Andrew's Hall will find a worthy use for the funds and appreciate your gifts greatly.
  • If you are visiting us online and wish to speak to someone about concerns or prayer requests you may have; please visit our Contact info page or click here. We would be happy to speak with you, God bless.

 

CALL TO WORSHIP

Praise the Lord.  Sing to the Lord a new song -

His praise in the assembly of the saints

In our worship, we bring glory to God, Father,

Son and Holy Spirit.

We humble ourselves in praise, and offer

ourselves in service in Jesus’ holy name.

How good it is to sing praises to our God

How pleasant and fitting to praise the Lord !

 

PRAYER OF ADORATION

Steadfast God, As the seasons change, we see that you are still at work in the world, transforming hearts and situations. We praise you for all you do to repair injustice, bringing peace to places of hostility, working for goodness to prevail among neighbours and nations. You have shown us the true face of power in Jesus Christ, reaching out with healing and hope to touch desperate lives. Let us see the face of Jesus in this time of worship, and fill us with renewed energy and insight this autumn, so that we can join in your work to bring justice and joy into the world you love in Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

HYMN    328    This is my Fathers world (click the blue text for YouTube music, sorry there may be advertising)

 

  1. This is my Father’s world,
    And to my list’ning ears
    All nature sings, and round me rings
    The music of the spheres.
    This is my Father’s world:
    I rest me in the thought
    Of rocks and trees, of skies and seas—
    His hand the wonders wrought.
  2. This is my Father’s world:
    The birds their carols raise,
    The morning light, the lily white,
    Declare their Maker’s praise.
    This is my Father’s world:
    He shines in all that’s fair;
    In the rustling grass I hear Him pass,
    He speaks to me everywhere.
  3. This is my Father’s world:
    Oh, let me ne’er forget
    That though the wrong seems oft so strong,
    God is the ruler yet.
    This is my Father’s world,
    The battle is not done:
    Jesus who died shall be satisfied,
    And earth and Heav’n be one.

CCLI  11394548

 

MEDITATION

Let us read together

Psalm 50 ;1 & 12b;  The mighty one, God, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun  to the place where it sets;…for the world is mine and all that is in it .

 

Maltbie Davenport Babcock (August 3, 1858 – May 18, 1901) was a noted American clergyman and writer of the 19th century. An avid outdoors enthusiast, he authored the familiar hymn, This is My Father's World, among others.

 

He might have become a professional musician had he not chosen the ministry. Upon receiving his degree in theology in 1882, his first pastorate was at the First Presbyterian Church, Lockport, New York. In 1886, he was called to Brown Memorial Church, Baltimore, Maryland, where he often counseled students at Johns Hopkins University. As his fame spread, he was asked to preach at colleges all over America. Babcock was not a great theologian or deep thinker, but had a talent for presenting spiritual and ethical truths with freshness and effect.

After almost 14 years in Baltimore, Babcock was called to the prestigious pastorate of the Brick Presbyterian Church in New York City, to fill the vacancy left by the retirement of Henry Van Dyke. Babcock had been there only 18 months when he made a trip to the Holy Land. While overseas, he died of brucellosis… also known as undulant fever

Though Babcock published nothing during his lifetime, his wife Katherine collected and published many of his writings after his untimely death. Thus he never heard his famous hymn sung.

 

This hymn’s first two stanzas are unusually concrete in their references to nature -“rocks and trees, of skies and seas”; “birds..., the morning light, the lily white... rustling grass.” For Babcock, nature was not only a visual spectacle, but an aural experience. Perhaps the author’s skill as a musician contributed to the many auditory images: “listening ears” and “nature sings” and “birds their carols raise” and “rustling grass.”

The “music of the spheres” mentioned in the first stanza is a concept borrowed from Greek philosophy. This is the idea that the most perfect sounds cannot be heard by human ears. They take place in the orderly movements of planets and stars. The actual sounds that we hear on earth are but a weak imitation.

 

The author shifts his focus in the final stanza from describing the visual and aural beauty of nature to the reality that all is not right with the world. With a strong sense of Presbyterian providence, Babcock observes “that though the wrong seems oft so strong, God is the ruler yet.”

 

PRAYER OF CONFESSION

Lord of love, today we confess our sin of indifference. Too often we turn away so we don’t have to see pain, suffering or injustice, even when the evidence is right before our eyes. We don’t like to feel uncomfortable. We don’t want to feel responsible. In your great mercy, forgive us, Lord. Teach us a new way to live. Give us courage to love others as you love us,

and to respond to the cries of others with the humility we have witnessed in Jesus. Amen.

 

ASSURANCE OF PARDON

The prophet Micah declared that God requires of us these three things: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God. To all who reject indifference and humbly seek reconciliation with God and neighbour, God offers forgiveness and peace. In Christ you are forgiven   Thanks be to God

 

PASSING THE PEACE

The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.

 

HYMN  350  To God be the Glory

 

To God be the glory, great things He hath done;
So loved He the world that He gave us His Son,
Who yielded His life an atonement for sin,
And opened the life gate that all may go in.

Refrain
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the earth hear His voice!
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord,
Let the people rejoice!
O come to the Father, through Jesus the Son,
And give Him the glory, great things He hath done.

O perfect redemption, the purchase of blood,
To every believer the promise of God;
The vilest offender who truly believes,
That moment from Jesus a pardon receives.

(Refrain)

Great things He hath taught us, great things He hath done,
And great our rejoicing through Jesus the Son;
But purer, and higher, and greater will be
Our wonder, our rapture, when Jesus we see.

(Refrain)                    Public Domain     CCLI  11394548

 

MEDITATION

 

Psalm 108.5  Be exalted, O God, above the heavens And your glory above all the earth.

 

Frances Jane Crosby was born on March 24, 1820 in the village of Brewster, about 50 miles north of New York City. She was the only child of John Crosby and his second wife Mercy Crosby,. He was a widower who had a daughter from his first marriage. At six weeks old, Crosby caught a cold and developed inflammation of the eyes. Mustard poultices were applied to treat the discharge. According to Crosby, this procedure damaged her optic nerves and blinded her, but modern physicians think that her blindness was more likely congenital and, given her age, may simply not have been noticed by her parents.

 

Her father died in November 1820 when Fanny was only six months old, so she was raised by her mother and grandmother Eunice Crosby. When Crosby was three, the family moved to North Salem, New York where Eunice had been raised. In April 1825, Fanny was examined by  a surgeon  who concluded that her condition was inoperable and that her blindness was permanent.

 

At age eight, Crosby wrote her first poem which described her condition. She later stated: "It seemed intended by the blessed providence of God that I should be blind all my life, and I thank him for the dispensation. If perfect earthly sight were offered me tomorrow I would not accept it. I might not have sung hymns to the praise of God if I had been distracted by the beautiful and interesting things about me."  According to biographer Annie Willis, "had it not been for her affliction she might not have so good an education or have so great an influence, and certainly not so fine a memory".

 

In 1828, Mercy and Fanny moved to Ridgefield, Connecticut where they attended the Presbyterian church. Historian Edith L. Blumhofer described the Crosby home environment as sustained by "an abiding Christian faith". Crosby memorized five chapters of the Bible each week from age 10, with the encouragement of her grandmother. By age 15, she had memorized the four gospels, the Pentateuch, the Book of Proverbs, the Song of Solomon, and many of the Psalms. These two women grounded her in Christian principles, helping her memorize these long passages. Later on  she became an active member of the John Street Methodist Episcopal Church in Manhattan.

 

Crosby enrolled at the New York Institution for the Blind in 1835, just before her 15th birthday. She remained there for eight years as a student, and another two years as a graduate pupil, during which time she learned to play the piano, organ, harp, and guitar, and became a good soprano singer

 

Crosby was "the most prolific of all nineteenth-century American sacred song writers".In all Crosby wrote between 5,500 and 9,000 hymns, the exact count obscured by the numerous pseudonyms (as many as 200, according to some sources) she employed to preserve her modesty.

Crosby described her hymn-writing process: 'It may seem a little old-fashioned, always to begin one’s work with prayer, but I never undertake a hymn without first asking the good Lord to be my inspiration.'

 

Originally entitled “Praise for Redemption” it wasn’t much of a hit . First published in 1875, the hymn was not widely included in many hymnals  and  lay hidden for 80 years. In 1954 Billy Graham was planning an evangelistic crusade in London Eng. The music director was given a copy of this and  loved the  exuberant chorus.  Advised not to sing the hymn, and although unknown,  they used  it anyway . For three months of the crusade it was sung  almost every night  launching it into worldwide popularity

 

PASSING THE PEACE

The prophet Micah declared that God requires of us these three things: to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with our God. To all who reject indifference and humbly seek reconciliation with God and neighbour, God offers forgiveness and peace. The peace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all.  Let’s share a wave of peace with each other

 

HYMN    634  Will you come and follow me

 

Will You Come And Follow Me
If I But Call Your Name?
Will You Go Where You Don’t Know
And Never Be The Same?
Will You Let My Love Be Shown,
Will You Let My Name Be Known,
Will You Let My Life Be Grown
In You And You In Me?

Will You Leave Yourself Behind
If I But Call Your Name?
Will You Care For Cruel And Kind
And Never Be The Same?
Will You Risk The Hostile Stare
Should Your Life Attract Or Scare?
Will You Let Me Answer Prayer
In You And You In Me?

Will You Let The Blinded See
If I But Call Your Name?
Will You Set The Prisoners Free
And Never Be The Same?
Will You Kiss The Leper Clean,
And Do Such As This Unseen,
And Admit To What I Mean
In You And You In Me?

Will You Love The ‘You’ You Hide
If I But Call Your Name?
Will You Quell The Fear Inside
And Never Be The Same?
Will You Use The Faith You’ve Found
To Reshape The World Around,
Through My Sight And Touch And Sound
In You And You In Me?

Lord, Your Summons Echoes True
When You But Call My Name.
Let Me Turn And Follow You
And Never Be The Same.
In Your Company I’ll Go
Where Your Love And Footsteps Show.
Thus I’ll Move And Live And Grow
In You And You In Me

CCLI  11394548

MEDITATION

Mark 1: 16 – 18 .  As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of  Galilee he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake for they were fishermen. “come follow me “ Jesus said “ and I will make you fishers of men” At once they left their nets and followed him

 

Our next hymn was written by contemporary John Bell  (1949) who is a Scottish hymn-writer and Church of Scotland minister. He is a member of the Iona Community, a broadcaster, author , and former student activist and Rector of the University of Glasgow from 1977-80

 

He works throughout the world, lecturing in theological colleges in the UK, Canada and the United States, and is primarily concerned with the renewal of congregational worship at the grass roots level. Bell has produced ,sometimes in collaboration with Graham Maule, many collections of original hymns and songs and two collections of songs of the World Church. These are published by the Iona Community in Scotland

Bell composed "The Summons" -now known as “Will you come and Follow me”  after being accepted into the Iona Community in 1980.and published by their Wild Goose Resource Group in 1987. It is set to a traditional Scottish melody. Its text contains thirteen questions asked by Jesus in the first person. The initial four stanzas with the questions are in Jesus' voice, and the fifth stanza is the singer's response to them. It has been used as an example of how a Christian should react to fear and love[7] as well as an example of covenantal discipleship.

 

I have had the opportunity of hearing John twice.– once when he was attending  General Assembly in Hamilton . To begin Assembly he got all 600 of us  singing  in four part harmony in about 15 minutes. And continued to teach us through GA The Second time I met him  was at a much smaller weekend workshop for folks in Alberta .held in Calgary several of us  music  people from the Peace River area took part in this excellent time of learning and fellowship.

 

OFFERING

This Sunday, across our denomination, we celebrate the life and mission of The Presbyterian Church in Canada and all God accomplishes in our country and around world with gifts we share in Jesus’ name. Through Presbyterians Sharing, your gifts will have an amazing worldwide impact. Some of the programs funded include New church development. Partnership. International mission staff. Theological colleges. Healing and reconciliation. Leadership development. Congregational support. And so much more! Today, we celebrate the generosity of congregations across Canada who support our church’s mission and ministry. As we encourage and equip one another and teach about love, faith and hope, we are proclaiming the good news of the gospel, in Canada and around the world. Let us bless God with our offering.

 

DOXOLOGY

Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
Praise Him, all creatures here below;
Praise Him above, ye heav’nly host;
Praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost!

 

OFFERTORY  PRAYER

Loving God, we bring you our gifts, grateful that we have something to share, glad to be part of a network of mission and mercy which circles the earth. Bless the ministries supported by Presbyterians Sharing as well as the mission of our congregation. Uphold them with these offerings and multiply their impact throughout the world In Christ’s name. Amen.

 

MEDITATION

Music is one of the priceless gifts God gave us. Music touches us as nothing else, reaching into our inner depths, giving us expression beyond rational thought, offering us an instrument of praise to God and a manifestation of community as we sing together.

 

Archaeological and written data have demonstrated clearly that music was an integral part of daily life in ancient Israel. Religion and music historian Herbert Lockyer, Jr. writes that "music, both vocal and instrumental, was well cultivated among the Hebrews, the New Testament Christians, and the Christian church through the centuries.” A look at the Old Testament reveals how God's ancient people were devoted to the study and practice of music, holding  a unique place in the historical and prophetic books. The 150 Psalms,  many of which  have been  ascribed to King David, have served as "the bedrock of Judeo-Christian hymnology," concluding that "no other poetry has been set to music more often in Western civilization.

 

According to ancient music historian Theodore Burgh, "If we were able to step into the . . . biblical period, we would find a culture filled with music . . . where people used music in their daily lives." "Such music was capable of expressing a great variety of moods and feelings or the broadly marked antitheses of joy and sorrow, hope and fear, faith and doubt. In fact, every shade and quality of sentiment are found in the wealth of songs and psalms and in the diverse melodies of the people."

 

From the church's earliest days, singing "psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs" with thankfulness to God has been an important part of Christian worship. Several of Paul's epistles contain fragments of hymns from the first generation of Christians (Philippians 2:6-11; I Timothy 3:16; Ephesians 5:14; Colossians 1:15-20) All are Christ-centered and brief, powerful proclamations of the early church's faith.

 

One of the earliest forms of worship music in the church was the Gregorian chantPope Gregory I, while not the inventor of chant, was acknowledged as the first person to order such music in the church. The chant reform took place around 590–604 CE. Believing that complexity of harmony had a tendency to ruin the music, Gregory I kept things very simple There were no strict time values, and no musical instruments were used. The effect produced had a resonant, mystical, other-worldly quality. Only men were allowed to sing; as music developed over the next centuries it  became the sole responsibility of the priests and the choir, not the congregation.

 

In the late 4th or early 5th century St. Jerome wrote that a Christian maiden ought not even to know what a lyre or flute is like, or to what use it is put. The church frowned on instruments because of their earlier role in pagan rites.. However, after 1100, organs and bells became increasingly common in cathedrals and monastic churches. By the 1400s, the use of organs was well established in monastic churches and cathedrals throughout Europe and music became quite complex .

 

The Protestant Reformation, which rapidly spread throughout Europe in the sixteenth century, created sweeping changes in many facets of society. One of the most noticeable changes to take place was the way in which Christians worshiped through music. The song schools of the abbeys, cathedrals and collegiate churches were closed down, choirs disbanded, music books and manuscripts destroyed and organs removed from churches.

 

Protestant reformers, sought to change the unwarranted expense of elaborate ceremonies and the uselessness of text unintelligible to the common man The most notable reformer of worship through music was Martin Luther. Being a friar, he was steeped in the musical traditions of Roman chant and he had a deep love for music as a singer, and composer. He made use of his musical skills to become a tool for promoting the teaching reforms of the Reformation.  Claims are  that some of Luther's hymns were based on bar and pub  tunes . However, there is no real conformation  or denial  that actual drinking songs were used as hymn tunes. All hymns could by sung unaccompanied, but organs and choirs supported congregational singing where such resources were available. These qualities made Luther's works well received across Germany, and many were soon translated into other language “A Mighty Fortress is Our God” in particular has since been translated into 53 languages.

 

Many Protestant reformers argued that worship music ought to be derived directly from the book of Psalms in the Old Testament, since the Bible serves as God’s revelation to man on how He is to be worshiped.

 

John Calvin was extremely cautious about how worship music was utilized, because he believed God laid out very specific directions in the Bible on how one could worship. For example, Calvin initially allowed the use of instruments in worship music, but “advocated a careful and skillful use” of them.”

 

One element which Calvin added to worship music was children’s choirs. Calvin was deeply concerned for the piety and religious devotion of parishioners, and declaired that children could "teach adults simplicity, childlike devotion, and a sincere heart when singing, even though there might be problems with intonation and the like." While many Protestants, including followers of Martin Luther, objected to Calvin’s rather staunch approach to music, Calvin did much to develop a new form of music separate from hundreds of years of Catholic doctrine and ritual. His use of the vernacular in the recitation of the Psalms made worship music more accessible and comprehensible to the public, and his simple melodies and inclusion of children’s choirs encouraged congregational participation in worship services.

 

Today I have just concentrated on the authors  of the hymns. Often the music score comes from someone else’s talent; however to include them  would have kept you here til well into the afternoon. Nevertheless we appreciate  the tunes as much as we do the words. There are  so many beloved  hymns both from centuries, decades ago  and  modern  times  it was a challenge to choose which to sing today. May we always remember  when we sing  To God be the Glory  AMEN

HYMN 434 For the beauty of the earth

 

  1. For the beauty of the earth,
    For the glory of the skies,
    For the love which from our birth
    Over and around us lies—

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

  1. For the wonder of each hour,
    Of the day and of the night,
    Hill and vale, and tree and flow’r,
    Sun and moon, and stars of light—

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

  1. For the joy of human love,
    Brother, sister, parent, child,
    Friends on earth and friends above,
    For all gentle thoughts and mild—

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

  1. For Thy church that evermore
    Lifteth holy hands above,
    Off’ring up on every shore
    Her pure sacrifice of love—

Lord of all, to Thee we raise,
This our hymn of grateful praise.

CCLI  11394548

MEDITATION

2 Samuel 7: 22    Therefore you are great, O Lord God, for there is none like You nor is there any God besides You according to all that we have heard with our ears .

Sometimes we know very little about the author of a hymn. Folliot Sandford Pierpoint (1835 – 1917) was Born at, Bath, England, and educated at Queens' College, Cambridge. Pierpoint was a classics schoolmaster and a devout Tractarian. He taught at Somersetshire College, spending most of his life in Bath and the south-west.

 

In the early nineteenth century, different groups were present in the Church of England. Many, particularly in high office, saw themselves as latitudinarian  or liberal in an attempt to broaden the Church's appeal. Conversely, many clergy in the parishes were Evangelicals, as a result of the revival led by John Wesley. Alongside this, the universities became the breeding ground for a movement to restore liturgical and devotional customs which borrowed heavily from traditions before the English Reformation as well as contemporary Roman Catholic traditions

 

His most famous hymn is For the Beauty of the Earth which he wrote in 1864, at age 29.

Pierpoint originally wrote this hymn for use during the Communion of the High Anglican Church. The original refrain "Christ, our God, to thee we raise; This our sacrifice of praise" was meant to mirror the portrayal of Christ's ultimate sacrifice -- just as the host would be lifted during the communion as a token of God's gift to us, a "sacrifice of praise" would be lifted in return. Later editions of the text emphasize the thanksgiving aspect of the verses.

Pierpoint died in 1917, at the age of 82.

 

PRAYERS OF THE PEOPLE

God of our past and our future, God of healing and hope,We come before you with grateful hearts, trusting that you walk with us through every situation.

Today we pray for those who facing danger and despair in these times:

those living with hunger that never ends,

those facing daily unrest and violence,

those challenged by the coronavirus pandemic and measures to control it,

and all those anxious about their future… (Keep silence for 15 seconds)

 

We give you thanks Lord for the gift of music – for  voices to sing and ears to appreciate We give you  thanks for music leaders,-for Gloria - for  choir members, technicians and others who give of their time and their talent to lead worship.

 

We pray for all those wrestling with sorrow or discouragement in any area of their lives;

For those living with illness or pain; For those bearing up with chronic conditions or disability;

For those who know the grief and change of bereavement…

we pray for those who work to relieve suffering in these places and those working to bring justice and peace. Bless them all with your courage. (Keep silence for 15 seconds)

 

As the  cases of Covid 19 escalate across Canada and around the world , we pray for all those who work to bring healing and comfort and the agencies which offer support and care in our community. We especially lift those in the medical field – doctors  nurses care aids  support staff, cleaners,  all who dedicate their  times and lives in hospitals and care homes .We bring before you  Dr Bonnie Henry and the Provincial and national health care officers across the nation who are given the responsibility to assess and report daily – lift them from exhaustion and

Bless them all with your compassion.

We pray for all who feel helpless or hopeless in this present time:

For those facing unemployment, struggling to make ends meet;

For those caught up in the pain of misunderstanding or broken relationships;

For any working through situations of conflict at home or at work...( silence for 15 seconds)

 

And we pray for all who offer guidance and support to face these challenges and for those who lend skills in reconciliation or mediation. Bless all with your wisdom and patience.

 

God of our past and our future, God of healing and hope, We pray for the ministries of The Presbyterian Church in Canada, and for national and international staff members who represent Christ in our name during such challenging times.

We pray for our own congregation and the churches of our Presbytery and Synod, and for ministers, elders and other leaders who seek wisdom for decision making.

 

Help all of us engage each day with faithfulness. Guide us, encourage us, and inspire us to meet the challenges before us and give us the commitment to keep following Jesus, who taught us to pray together, saying:

 

THE LORDS PRAYER

Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name,
thy kingdom come, thy will be done,
on earth as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory,forever.

Amen.

 

HYMN    374  O for a thousand tongues to sing

O For a thousand tongues to sing
My dear Redeemer's praise!
The glories of my God and King,
The triumphs of His grace!

Jesus! the Name that charms our fears,
That bids our sorrows cease;
'Tis music in the sinner's ears,
'Tis life, and health, and peace.

He speaks, - and, listening to his voice,
New life the dead receive;
The mournful, broken hearts rejoice;
The humble poor believe.

Hear him, ye deaf; you voiceless ones
Your loosen'd tongues employ;
Ye blind, behold your Saviour come,
And leap, ye lame, for joy.

My gracious Master and my God,
Assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the world abroad
The honors of Thy name.

CCLI  11394548

 

MEDITATION

 

Luke 19: 37 The whole multitude began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice for all the mighty works they had seen

 

Charles Wesley 18 December 1707 – 29 March 1788

O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing" was written by Charles Wesley who wrote over 6,000 hymns, many of which were subsequently reprinted, frequently with alterations, in hymnals, particularly those of Methodist churches.

Charles Wesley was suffering a bout of pleurisy in 1738, while he and his brother were studying in London. At the time, Wesley was plagued by extreme doubts about his faith. Taken to bed with the illness, on May 21 Wesley was attended by a group of Christians and was deeply affected by them. He began reading from his Bible and found himself at peace with God. Charles then wrote a hymn written in praise of his renewal.

One year from the experience, Wesley was taken with the urge to write another hymn, this one in commemoration of his renewal of faith. This hymn took the form of an 18-stanza poem first published in 1740 and entitled 'For the anniversary day of one's conversion'. The seventh verse, which begins, 'O for a thousand tongues to sing', and which now is invariably the first verse of a shorter rendition, recalls another hymn writers  words, 'Had I a thousand tongues I would praise Him with them all. Charles'  hymn was published in 1780 in John Wesley's A Collection of Hymns for the People Called Methodists . It appears in many denominational hymnals from that time onward until the present

 

BENEDICTION

With thanks to he who said  “preach the gospel and if necessary, use words”  I say to you -Go out into the world with a song of praise in your hearts  and, if necessary – sing it ! May the Grace of God, the love of our Lord Jesus Christ and the power and compassion of the Holy Spirit  be upon you  today and for evermore

 

Benediction Song

Online: Tell me the stories of Jesus

 

Who’s going to tell the story, you and I
Tell of the Lord’s great glory, you and I
Who’s gong to let the whole world know
Help his disciples grow and multiply?
You and I!