Posted by: rcottrill | July 24, 2017

Somebody Did a Golden Deed

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Also see 30+ Ideas for Promoting Hymn Singing in your church. As others have contributed ideas, this wonderful resource has grown to over 80 items now. And, for more than three dozen reasons why congregations should still use hymn books rather than merely projecting words on the wall, see The Value of Hymn Books.

Words: John Ralston Clements (b. Nov. 28, 1868; d. Jan. 1, 1946)
Music: Winfield Scott Weeden (b. Mar. 29, 1847; d. July 31, 1908)

Links:
Words for the Pilgrim Way (John Clements)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: The Clements family came to America from Ireland in 1870, and young John was saved at eighteen, through the ministry of evangelist Dwight L. Moody. Though working in the wholesale grocery business for awhile, he later went on to serve as a Bible college president. Mr. Clements, a friend of Fanny Crosby’s, also wrote thousands of gospel songs. Though most are forgotten today, Jesus Leads, and No Night There are still sung.

In the early days of human history, Cain rose up and killed his brother in jealous anger. Later he was confronted by the Lord who asked, “Where is Abel your brother?” Cain lied and said he didn’t know, retorting, “Am I my brother’s keeper?” (Gen. 4:8-9). That’s a good question. Are we responsible to care for others around us?

The answer is, “Yes.” Brothers, and sisters, and other family members, certainly. Also friends and neighbours. But we see from Jesus’ parable of the Good Samaritan (Lk. 10:29-37) that the term “neighbour” should be defined broadly. It is anyone in the whole human family that I have a means and occasion for helping. We cannot help everyone, of course, but we can seize opportunities to do what we can.

The saying, “A friend in need is a friend indeed,” has been interpreted several ways. It seems most likely to mean that a friend [when you are] in need is a friend indeed [a true friend]. The axiom is very old. In the third century BC, poet Quintus Ennius framed it with a Latin proverb that translates: “A sure friend is known when [you are] in difficulty.” We need friends like that–and so does everyone.

For the Christian, love is to be a reflection and extension of Christ’s love for us.

“In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation [the full satisfaction of His justice] for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another” (I Jn. 4:10-11).

And that love and kindness should freely cross lines of prejudice and political correctness.

During the First World War British nurse Edith Cavell saved hundreds of lives of both Allied and German soldiers, without discrimination, saying “Patriotism is not enough, I must have no hate in my heart….I can’t stop while there are lives to be saved.” Sadly, she was captured and shot by a German firing squad, awakening worldwide outrage. But she is remembered still as a shining embodiment of Christian love.

Another example is Golden Deed International, a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of children. “We provide children with the tools they need to help them grow and develop.” And there are many charitable organizations that provide us with opportunities to help others in a practical way, doing “golden deeds” for people we likely will never meet in person.

A golden deed is a noble and unselfish act of love and kindness. There are at least a couple of gospel songs that make use of the term. One is A Beautiful Life (“Each day I’ll do a golden deed…”), written by William Matthew Golding (1874-1934) who, amazingly, wrote most of his songs while serving an eight-year sentence in a state penitentiary.

Another is today’s song, created by John Clements, a lesser known selection of his, published in 1901. Though not used much now, it was extremely popular at the turn of the twentieth century. The second line seems to mean, “Proving himself a friend [to me] in [my] need.”

CH-1) Somebody did a golden deed,
Proving himself a friend in need;
Somebody sang a cheerful song,
Bright’ning the sky the whole day long.

Was that somebody you?
Was that somebody you?

CH-2) Somebody thought ’tis sweet to live,
Willingly said, “I’m glad to give;”
Somebody fought a valiant fight,
Bravely he lived to shield the right.

CH-3) Somebody made a loving gift,
Cheerfully tried a load to lift;
Somebody told the love of Christ,
Told how His will was sacrificed.

Questions:
1) What is the higher purpose of doing good deeds (Matt. 5:16)?

2) What “golden deeds” have you been able to do this past week? (And with what result?)

Links:
Words for the Pilgrim Way (John Clements)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org


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