Recently my husband and I were visiting with our daughter and her family near Myrtle Beach. We attended a Presbyterian church there on Sunday, and one of the hymns used in their service was new to me. I liked it, and hope you will, too. I always enjoy visiting other churches, learning new hymns and seeing other ways of worshipping God– and then I am equally glad to come “home” to the traditional Lutheran liturgy.
This past week the church we visited used a song as the prelude that I hadn’t heard before. It goes along with the theme of a book I read recently ( You Are What You Love by James K. A. Smith–Book Review). The idea is that you may know intellectually that God is the One you should love, but what is really in your heart? Listen and enjoy it as I did!
My husband is a recently retired pastor and we’ve been visiting different churches in our area. This past Sunday, at the church we attended, the readings, sermon and hymns all had to do with Jesus as our shepherd. I’ve always liked this image, and it’s probably the one that most influences the way I visualize and experience God “The Lord’s My Shepherd, I’ll Not Want” was the sermon hymn for the day. It’s based on the 23rd Psalm and it first appeared in print in the Scottish Psalter of 1650. I hadn’t heard it for a while, and I enjoyed singing it. Listen, and sing along if you like!
Since my husband retired last month, we have been visiting churches in our area, allowing the new interim pastor of St. Paul’s some time to settle in. Last week we went to church with a good friend and they sang a song I’d never heard before. It seemed to go with the monthly theme, so I decided to share it with our readers. Let me know what you think!
My husband and I recently watched a television series about the life of singer Aretha Franklin. She began her career singing gospel songs in her father’s church. Later in life her gospel album entitled Amazing Grace (this was a live album recorded over two days in January 1972, at the New Temple Missionary Baptist Church in South Los Angeles.)included the song, Climbing Higher Mountains. It reminded me that our walk with Jesus has a destination which is our true home — heaven.
“Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the Lord” (Isaiah 2:5)
Walking in the light of the Lord — what does that mean? When we walk in the light, we experience the presence of God in our daily lives; we understand and want to follow His ways and His plan for us; our eyes are not darkened by false idols or worldly philosophies. While researching this short phrase from the Bible, I came across this little song for children about walking in the light. I enjoyed it and hope you will, too.
This month of “walking with Jesus” wouldn’t be complete without this well-known gospel song. Although it is widely used, and has been performed by many artists, the origin of the hymn is unknown. It is believed to predate the Civil War, as some personal African American histories mention “slaves singing a song about walking by the Lord’s side as they worked in the fields.”
It gained national popularity in the 1930s, when African American churches used it at musical conventions. By the 1940s, the hymn was featured at all night gospel singing rallies. The first known recording was made on October 8, 1941 by the Selah Jubilee Singers.
It is often used on Lutheran Via de Cristo retreats.
The words are based upon 2 Corinthians 5:7:
“For we live by faith, not by sight. “
For more songs used on Via de Cristo weekends see these posts:
This black spiritual song was mentioned in a novel I’m currently reading. I had never heard it, so I decided to look it up. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find anything about the history or origins, but I enjoyed listening to it, and hope you will too. We all have times when we feel as if we are sinking under overwhelming situations or responsibilities, and we need to remember that God is with us to keep us safe.
It appears that I’m not done with “words” which was the theme last month. Or maybe “words” are not done with me. This hymn was used in our worship service last Sunday, so I decided to find out a bit more about it.
Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word was written by Tobias Clausnitzer who was born in 1619 in Saxony. In 1644 he was appointed chaplain to a Swedish regiment. He preached the sermon at the accession of Christina as Queen of Sweden. Clausnitzer wrote at least twenty-two hymns.
The hymn was later translated from the original German text into English by Catherine Winkworth. She learned about German hymnody while living with relatives in Germany and translated a large number of German hymn texts into English. She was born in 1827 England and died in 1878 France.
We sang this hymn in church Sunday, and I couldn’t help but think it would have been a great post for last month’s theme — words. It was written by Emmanuel Cronenwett, a Lutheran pastor from Butler, Pennsylvania, and published in 1880 in the Evangelical Lutheran Hymnal. You can listen to it by following the link below: