The Light of the World

“Again Jesus spoke to them saying, ‘I am the light of the world.  Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.'” John 8:12

We’re  in that dark season of the year when the days keep getting shorter.  We’re in a dark time, as well, as the coronavirus is still surging and our political leaders are at odds with one another. But light is coming into the world as well — the light of the world that we remember at Christmas — Jesus!  I’m reminded of this beautiful hymn written by Philip Bliss(1838-1876).  It was written for a revival meeting and was sung by Ira D. Sankey.  It remains a favorite today.  If your life is filled with darkness today, come to the light

For another hymn by Philip Bliss go to this post:

Words of Life



Words of Life

Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. John 6:68

I seem to be a bit hung up on the idea of “words” this month.  We sang this hymn in church recently, and it really appeals to me, so I thought I would share it on the blog.

It was written by Philip Bliss.  At 25, Philip was an itinerant music teacher making only $13 a month.  In 1869 he formed an association with evangelist Dwight Moody and by 36 he was earning a fortune with  the royalties received from his compositions.   He gave much of it away to charity.  “Wonderful Words of Life” was produced in 1874 for the first issue of a religious paper named Words of Life, published by Fleming H. Revell in New York City, NY.  Two years later, he and his wife were killed when seven cars of their Chicago-bound train, while they were riding their Chicago-bound express through  crashed through the trestle of a railroad bridge and plunged into the river below.  This song had its first hymnbook appearance in the 1878 Gospel Hymns No. 3, edited by Ira David Sankey.   Listen and enjoy these wonderful words!  You can’t hear them too often.

It is Well with My Soul

Most people know the story behind this hymn, but I’ll repeat it again, just in case some readers haven’t heard it.  Horatio Spafford, an attorney was close to Dwight Moody and decided to visit Moody’s evangelistic meetings in England. At the last minute an urgent business matter detained Spafford in Chicago, so his wife and four daughters boarded the ocean liner alone, and he planned to follow.  On November 22, 1873, the ship collided with an iron sailing vessel and sank.  Spafford’s wife was rescued, but all of his children perished.  He immediately book passage to join his wife in Wales, where the survivors were taken.  The evening his ship passed over the place where his family’s ship went down, Spafford was unable to sleep.  He told himself, “It is well;  the will of God be done.”  Later he wrote his famous hymn based on these words.  (the melody was written by Philip Bliss).  It is truly a tribute to enduring tribulation with faith.