Posted by: rcottrill | April 9, 2014

Where We’ll Never Grow Old

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3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.


Words:
James Cleveland Moore (b. May 2, 1888; d. June 1, 1962)
Music: James Cleveland Moore

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal

Note: This gospel song was written around 1914. The Cyber Hymnal notes the peculiarity that both the words and the music are similar to those of another song from 1889, called That Beautiful Land. (The author and composer of the latter are different.) Sometimes it happens that a hymn on a particular theme is desired for publication, but copyright restrictions prevent its use. One solution is to write a different but similar song. Whether that was the case here, I don’t know, but the present song was written in response to a particular experience.

According to the Cyber Hymnal, James Moore served as the pastor of a number of churches. For for two years he was also president of the Georgia-Florida-Alabama Tri-State Singing Convention, and was president of the Southern Singers’ Association of Georgia. He estimated that he wrote over 500 songs; sales of his phonograph records ran into the millions.

T wenty-six year old Jim Moore was coming back to his home town in Georgia. He’d been away for years, first, working to earn enough money to go to college, then getting an education. Now he was to preach for the folks in his family’s little Baptist church. Jim’s father had directed the choir and led the singing in the church for many years. Now it was quite a thrill for him to do so before his own son was to speak.

But the thing that struck Jim Moore the most, as he gazed out over the congregation, was how different it was. The years had brought many changes. Some folks had died, others had moved away. Those that remained had grown older. Even Jim’s nine brothers and sisters had grown up since he’d been away.

C. R. Moore, Jim’s father, was reputed to be one of the finest gospel singers in Georgia. He had been trained by Anthony Showalter, a vocal music teacher and hymn writer (the author of Leaning on the Everlasting Arms). But Jim was struck by how the voice of the elder Moore had deteriorated. “I felt sorry for him,” he said. “He would lose his pitch and his voice would break.”

When the young man returned to graduate school, he thought about the inevitability of change, and of how age brings a loss of health, mobility, and various abilities.

This turned his attention to what the Bible says about heaven, and how sickness and death will be forever behind us. Not that there will be no passing of time in the heavenly kingdom. Eternity is not timeless, but consists of endless time. However, the infirmities and other problems of aging will be no more.

“I heard a loud voice from heaven saying, ‘Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people. God Himself will be with them and be their God. And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death, nor sorrow, nor crying. There shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’ Then He who sat on the throne said, ‘Behold, I make all things new.’ And He said to me, ‘Write, for these words are true and faithful’” (Rev. 21:3-5).

“For we know that if our earthly house, this tent [our body], is destroyed, we have a building from God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. For in this we groan, earnestly desiring to be clothed with our habitation which is from heaven….For we who are in this tent groan, being burdened, not because we want to be unclothed, but further clothed, that mortality may be swallowed up by life” (II Cor. 5:1-4).

“So when this corruptible [what is perishable] has put on incorruption [that which is imperishable], and this mortal [what is subject to dying and death] has put on immortality [that which is not subject to dying and death], then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written: ‘Death is swallowed up in victory’ (I Cor. 15:54).

CH-1) I have heard of a land on the far away strand,
’Tis a beautiful home of the soul;
Built by Jesus on high, there we never shall die,
’Tis a land where we never grow old.

Never grow old, never grow old,
In a land where we’ll never grow old;
Never grow old, never grow old,
In a land where we’ll never grow old.

CH-2) In that beautiful home where we’ll never more roam,
We shall be in the sweet by and by;
Happy praise to the King through eternity sing,
’Tis a land where we never shall die.

CH-3) When our work here is done and the life crown is won,
When our troubles and trials are o’er;
All our sorrow will end, and our voices will blend
With the loved ones who’ve gone on before.

Questions:
1) What other songs about heaven have been an encouragement to you?

2) Is there someone you could encourage with the message of Moore’s song this week?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal


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