Posted by: rcottrill | October 10, 2018

I Sing of Thee

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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: Charles Frederick Weigle (b. Nov. 20, 1871; d. Dec. 3, 1966)
Music: Gladys Blanchard Muller (no information)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Charles Weigle)
The Cyber Hymnal (Charles Weigle)
Hymnary.org

Note: Gladys Blanchard Muller was a music editor who frequently worked with Charles Weigle. A book of his which takes its title from the present hymn, I Sing of Thee, lists her as the editor of the music, as does another song book of Weigle’s, Sing a New Song. She also wrote the music for Weigle’s song, I Have Found a Hiding Place. The present song was published in 1943.

We wouldn’t likely think much of a waitress who came to our table in a restaurant and tried to sell us a car, or a car salesman who presented us with a dinner menu and wanted to sell us on a steak dinner. That’s not what we’re there for, in either case, and not what we want.

Not that we’d object to the waitress briefly mentioning she liked her new car, or the car salesman talking about a recent feast at Steaks Are Us. It’s just that, as the saying goes, “The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing.”

That applies to writing essays or preaching sermons, too. Once a theme has been decided upon, each paragraph should be related to that, expanding on the subject, explaining and illustrating its relevance, and so on. If your subject is bridge building, explaining the rules for tennis would not seem to be relevant. If your theme is the music of Beethoven, talking about a horse you just purchased would seem to be far off target.

When it comes to the Bible, the subject can be summarized as: God and man, and the relationship between the two.

“Let us hear the conclusion of the whole matter: fear God and keep His commandments, for this is man’s all [or, “this is everyone’s duty” NLT] (Ecc. 12:13).

“He has shown you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God?” (Mic. 6:8).

All well and good, but that’s not the inclination of the sinful heart. In ourselves, apart from God’s help, we’re simply not going to do that. “There is none who seeks after God….all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Rom. 3:11, 23). We need someone to rescue us from ourselves, to cleanse us from our sin, and infuse in us a new spiritual nature that delights in the will of God.

This is where Christ comes in, the one Mediator between God and men” (I Tim. 2:5). We know what a mediator is in labour disputes. It’s a person who can lay his or her hand on management’s shoulder and say, “I understand your requirements,” and on labour’s, saying, “I appreciate your problem”–and out of that bridging of the two, to bring them together. That’s what Christ has done in the spiritual realm, providing a way, through His cross, for God and man to come together. “We have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ” (Rom. 5:1).

It is possible to see Christ and His saving work as the “main thing” the Bible talks about. In the Old Testament there’s the anticipation of it, symbols relating to it, and prophecy pointing forward to it. The Lord was therefore able to teach His followers about Himself from the Old Testament (Lk. 24:27, 44).

Then, the Gospels describe His death and resurrection, Acts gives us the early evangelistic work of the apostles, and the rest of the New Testament explains the gospel (the good news) of salvation through faith in Christ. “Christ died for our sins according to the Scriptures” (I Cor. 15:3).

Further, it’s appropriate that our hymnody focuses on the Lord Jesus Christ. “The Lord is my…song; He also has become my salvation” (Isa. 12:2). This theme, which saturates all of Scripture is explicitly stated in a song called I Sing of Thee, by American evangelist and gospel song writer Charles Weigle.

1) I sing of Thee, O blessed Christ,
Since Thou hast saved me by Thy grace;
Redeemed by Thee, at dreadful price,
With angels I would sing Thy praise.

I sing of Thee, O blessed Saviour,
Thy praise shall now my tongue employ;
I’ll sing of Thee, O Lord forever,
For Thou hast filled my soul with joy.

3) Of Thee I’ll sing while life shall last,
At home, abroad, on land or sea;
And when through death to life I’ve passed,
Forevermore I’ll sing of Thee.

Questions:
1) According to Colossians 3:16, what are the reasons to sing about Christ?

2) What is your favourite song about the Lord Jesus Christ?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Charles Weigle)
The Cyber Hymnal (Charles Weigle)
Hymnary.org


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