Posted by: rcottrill | August 8, 2011

Amidst Us Our Beloved Stands

Words: Charles Haddon Spurgeon (b. June 19, 1834; d. Jan. 31, 1892)
Music: Hamburg, by Lowell Mason (b. Jan. 8, 1792; d. Aug. 11, 1872)

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal

The writings of the great Baptist preacher, Charles Spurgeon, continue to be in print, more than a century after his death. His Treasury of David is a classic work on the Psalms, and there are many collections of his sermons available. Pastor Spurgeon also published a hymn book (Our Own Hymn Book) for use in the Metropolitan Tabernacle, in London, where he served. It contains a number of his own creations, of which this is one.

The theme of the song is the need for a perceptive and insightful participation in the Lord’s Supper (I Cor. 11:23-28). It’s so easy to go through the form of this service in a ritualistic way, paying little attention to it’s meaning. What is the remedy?

First, we need to recognize that the Lord Himself is present, when we meet in His name (Matt. 18:20). The bread and the wine are “emblems” or symbols, reminding us of Christ’s broken body and shed blood. Though He isn’t with us physically, as He was with the disciples of old, we can recall that scene to mind, and see Him with the eyes of faith (Jn. 20:26-29; cf. Lk. 24:39).

CH-1) Amidst us our Belovèd stands,
And bids us view His piercèd hands;
Points to the wounded feet and side,
Blest emblems of the Crucified.

CH-2 reminds us what a rich banquet is ours at the Lord’s table. Not physically, of course, in the small tokens of the bread and the cup. They are only a picture of something grander, the spiritual bounty that is ours through Christ, and the blessing of His fellowship, as we gather with His people. “He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?” (Rom. 8:32). God has “blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ” (Eph. 1:3). As believers, we’re recipients of “the riches of His grace” (Eph. 1:7).

CH-2) What food luxurious loads the board,
When at His table sits the Lord!
The wine how rich, the bread how sweet,
When Jesus deigns the guests to meet!

Now, comes the problem: our own spiritual dullness and lack of perception. Perhaps it is sin that is hindering our fellowship with the Lord (cf. Isa. 59:1-2), or simply human weakness. We may be cumbered with other responsibilities and duties (as Martha was, Lk. 10:40), or distracted by some burden we carry. Whatever the case, we can see the elements of the Communion Service, and miss the One they represent.

CH-3) If now, with eyes defiled and dim,
We see the signs, but see not Him;
O may His love the scales displace,
And bid us see Him face to face!

Of course, sin needs to be dealt with. We need to confess and forsake it, if we’re to fellowship with the Lord at His table (I Cor. 11:28; I Jn. 1:9). But we also need to refocus our thoughts on Him. It will encourage our hearts to review past blessings from the Lord. For Peter, James, and John, there was the recollection of the transfiguration, “when with Him on the holy mount” (CH-4; cf. Ps. 22:3-5).

CH-5) Thou glorious Bridegroom of our hearts,
Thy present smile a heav’n imparts!
Oh lift the veil, if veil there be,
Let every saint Thy beauties see!

1) What are some of the “beauties” of Christ we can see, with the eyes of faith?

2) What practical suggestions can you think of to help “every saint” have a meaningful and enriching experience at the Lord’s table?

Wordwise Hymns
The Cyber Hymnal


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