Hans (Johann) Georg Nageli was a Swiss composer and music publisher. (Nageli published the works of Beethoven and other leading composers.) He encouraged interest in male choral singing, and promoted the teaching of music in elementary schools. Hymn writer Lowell Mason said of him, “No man in modern times has done more, perhaps, to promote the cause of music education and church music.” A few of Nageli’s hymn tunes are used today, most notably the tune Dennis used with Blest Be the Tie That Binds.
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.
(2) Today in 1918 – Bertram Luard-Selby Died
Bertram Luard-Selby served as an organist at Rochester Cathedral, in England. He composed mostly organ music, but also wrote three sonatas, service music, large-scale chamber music, two operas and three cantatas. He composed the hymn tune Adoration, that can be used with the hymn Alleluia, Sing to Jesus. (For more on this hymn and the author of the words, see Today in 1837.)
Alleluia! sing to Jesus! His the sceptre, His the throne.
Alleluia! His the triumph, His the victory alone.
Hark! the songs of peaceful Zion thunder like a mighty flood.
Jesus out of every nation has redeemed us by His blood.
(3) Today in 2004 – A Tsunami Struck the Far East
Hymn writer Carolyn Winfrey Gillette is also a co-pastor, with her husband, of Limestone Presbyterian Church, in Wilmington, Delaware. She had written a hymn called The Storm Came to Honduras, years ago. Then, after the tsunami disaster in the Far East, she gave permission for Peter Holden to adapt it to the later event, in hopes it would call the attention of the Christian community to the desperate need of those who had suffered great loss.
Often we are unable to answer the “Why?” question in such circumstances. But we can commit ourselves to trust in an all-wise God, and we can do what we can to help those in need.
O God, that great tsunami has stunned us one and all.
Our neighbours reel in anguish, while homes and cities fall.
O God of wind and water, who made the sea and sky,
Amid such great destruction, we mournfully ask, “Why?”
Economies are ruined, and lives in tatters lie,
Sewage is washed down river, while lonely orphans cry.
O Spirit, send Your comfort and give us faith that cares,
For when our neighbours suffer, our lives are bound with theirs.