Posted by: rcottrill | December 22, 2017

The Day Is Gently Sinking

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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: Christopher Wordsworth (b. Oct. 30, 1807; d. Mar. 20, 1885)
Music: Nachtlied, by Henry Thomas Smart (b. Oct. 26, 1813; d. July 6, 1879)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Christopher Wordsworth)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Christopher Wordsworth was an evangelical Anglican clergyman, a Greek scholar, and author of note. He wrote a number of hymns, including the fine O Day of Rest and Gladness which, contrary to the view of many in his day, does not confuse the Jewish Sabbath with the Christian Lord’s Day.

What is the commonest topic of adult conversation? Without much doubt it’s the weather–perhaps because it’s experienced by all of us. What about the most unpopular and most avoided topic? One survey suggests it’s hell. But let’s expand that narrow theme. Very close in general disfavour is the subject of death.

Fear has something to do with this. There are all kinds of phobias. Some are afraid of spiders, some of dentists, some of heights. But while a few of these can be avoided, death is a universal experience. Comedian Woody Allen famously said, “I’m not afraid to die; I just don’t want to be there when it happens.” But, of course, the last half of that statement implies the first half isn’t truthful.

The Bible has a great deal to say about the subject, unpleasant though it may be. Forms of the words death and die are found there over nine hundred times. But here’s the good news. Far more often (over twelve hundred times) the Word of God speaks about life and living. It gives us hope, promising that death need not be the end.

The Christian gospel declares what makes the difference. The Bible tells us that the Son of God came to this earth to “taste death for everyone” (Heb. 2:9). “Christ died for our sins” (I Cor. 15:3), and all who put their faith in Him are forgiven, and saved eternally. “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23).

Death then is not the inevitable end. For the believer it’s a doorway to eternal joy. Of the saints in the heavenly kingdom we read, “God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be no more death” (Rev. 21:4). Even Death itself, personified, will be destroyed, and be cast into the lake for fire (Rev. 20:14).

Clergyman and lauded poet, John Donne (1572-1631) wrote of death in one of his Holy Sonnents. Here are the first and last couplets.

Death, be not proud, though some have called thee
Mighty and dreadful, for thou art not so…

One short sleep past, we wake eternally
And death shall be no more; Death, thou shalt die.

All of this is gloriously true. Yet facing death can still bring anxious fear, even for the child of God. But one thing should reassure us: the presence of God at that time. As David wrote, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me” (Ps. 23:4).

When two disciples walked to Emmaus, the risen Lord met them. As they approached home we read that they said, “‘Abide with us, for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent.’ And He went in to stay with them” (Lk. 24:29). Similarly, we look to Him in prayer to abide with us in that final evening hour at the end of our earthly lives.

When the fearful disciples were caught in a raging storm on the Sea of Galilee, Christ came to them, walking on the sea, and when He stepped into the boat, the wind and waves were calmed (Mk. 6:47-51). If the last storm we will face is death, we can be assured of His presence and care, even then.

That is the comfort of the hymn written by Christopher Wordsworth.

CH-1) The day is gently sinking to a close,
Fainter and yet more faint the sunlight
O brightness of Thy Father’s glory,
Thou eternal light of light, be with us now:
Where Thou art present darkness cannot be;
Midnight is glorious noon, O Lord, with Thee.

CH-2) Our changeful lives are ebbing to an end;
Onward to darkness and to death we tend;
O conqueror of the grave, be Thou our guide;
Be Thou our light in death’s dark eventide;
Then in our mortal hour will be no gloom,
No sting in death, no terror in the tomb.

CH-3) Thou, who in darkness walking didst appear
Upon the waves, and Thy disciples cheer,
Come, Lord, in lonesome days, when storms assail,
And earthly hopes and human succors fail;
When all is dark, may we behold Thee nigh,
And hear Thy voice, “Fear not, for it is I.”

Questions:
1) What can you do or say to bring comfort to a Christian who is facing the prospect of death?

2) What is the “sting” of death, and why do we not need to fear it (I Cor. 15:56-57)?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Christopher Wordsworth)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | December 20, 2017

Onward Christian, Though the Region

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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: Samuel Johnson (b. Oct. 10, 1822; d. Feb. 19, 1882)
Music: Wilmot, by Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber (b. Nov. 18, 1786; d. June 5, 1826)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: American clergyman Samuel Johnson was the pastor of an independent church in Massachusetts for nearly two decades. In 1846 he published A Book of Hymns, working with Samuel Longfellow, the brother of poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow. The present hymn is one that challenges believers to keep on following the Lord, in spite of what may confront them. Johnson tended to adhere to Unitarian beliefs, but this hymn says some good things in spite of that.

Usually, with city driving, the streets are orderly and well labeled. Finding our way can be relatively simple. But occasionally there are complications. One way streets, dead end streets, or streets that seem to end at a park, only to continue (unknown to us) on the other side of it. And out in the country, where not all roads are marked, there can be other difficulties.

Some years ago I set out to visit a man who lived alone in a remote rural area. I got directions to follow, but there was a problem. The final turning I expected wasn’t there. I drove back and forth, looking for even a rough lane to his house, but to no avail. On inquiring, I learned there was none! To reach my destination I had to turn into a field, with no path to follow, and keep going until I saw his cottage. I did get there, but with difficulty.

In the spiritual realm, there is a right path and a wrong path, one marked out for us by God (cf. Prov. 3:5-6; II Tim. 3:16-17), and the other path that leads to eternal ruin. As Proverbs puts it, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death” (Prov. 16:25). On the other hand, the Lord Jesus said, “Narrow is the gate and difficult is the way that leads to life, and there are few [relatively speaking] who find it” (Matt. 7:14).

In truth, Christ Himself is the only way to life. He said:

“I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me” (Jn. 14:6; cf. 3:16).

And what about the one who does trust in the Saviour? Does the road get easy then? Is it a smooth and comfortable path from then on? No it isn’t.

The believer still faces the challenges common to every human being, but also has spiritual opposition on the new path. Near the end of His time on earth, Christ warned His followers:

“If the world hates you, you know that it hated Me before it hated you…A servant is not greater than his master. If they persecuted Me, they will also persecute you” (Jn. 15:18, 20).

We need only consider the book of Acts and the epistles to see the reality of this. Service for Christ was often difficult and dangerous. But the believers kept on in spite of it. When the apostles were beaten, and forbidden to preach the gospel…

“They departed from the presence of the council, rejoicing that they were counted worthy to suffer shame for His name. And daily in the temple, and in every house, they did not cease teaching and preaching Jesus as the Christ” (Acts 5:41-42).

Paul presents a long litany of trials he’d experienced. He felt foolish speaking about himself, but he wanted his readers to know how it was (II Cor. 11:23-28). He later writes from prison of his coming execution (II Tim. 4:6-7). And Peter’s first epistle was written to encourage Christians who suffer for their faith. Some form of the word “suffer” is found in the book sixteen times, and he also speaks of the opposition of “your adversary the devil” (I Pet. 5:8).

Pastor Johnson’s hymn says

CH-1) Onward, Christian, though the region
Where thou art be drear and lone;
God has set a guardian legion
Very near thee; press thou on.

CH-2) By the thorn road, and none other,
Is the mount of vision won;
Tread it without shrinking, brother,
Jesus trod it; press thou on.

CH-3) By thy trustful, calm endeavour,
Guiding, cheering, like the sun,
Earthbound hearts thou shalt deliver;
O, for their sake, press thou on.

CH-4) Be this world the wiser, stronger,
For thy life of pain and peace;
While it needs thee, oh, no longer
Pray thou for thy quick release.

CH-5) Pray thou, Christian, daily rather
That thou be a faithful son,
By the prayer of Jesus, “Father,
Not my will, but Thine, be done.”

Questions:
1) What are some of the things that God can accomplish (or teach us) when he takes us through a time of trial and suffering?

2) Is there an experience of your own that illustrates this?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | December 18, 2017

I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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: Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (b. Feb. 27, 1807; d. Mar. 24, 1882)
Music: Waltham (or Calkin), by John Baptiste Calkin (b. Mar. 16, 1827; d. May 15, 1905)

Links:

Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Longfellow was a respected scholar, and one of America’s greatest writers. But tragedy seemed to dog his steps. His first wife died of illness. Later, he married again, but his second wife died in a fire. Then came the Civil War, which was to touch his own family.

Church bells have been around for about sixteen centuries. In many communities they sound out their booming peals to summon worshipers to a church service, to welcome in the new year, or to announce a wedding or a funeral. But in the Second World War, the church bells of Britain were silenced. They were only to be rung to inform the populace of an enemy invasion.

Bells are hung in the steeple of a church, or in a bell tower, each with a long rope attached. When it’s pulled from below, the bell swings and begins to ring. Some churches have a number of bells that sound different musical notes. These are rung in various intricate patterns called changes. In 1934, Dorothy Sayers published a mystery story called The Nine Tailors, with complicated clues that revolved around ringing the changes.

A more versatile collection of bells is the carillon, which can play actual tunes. Classed as a musical instrument, it’s the second heaviest of these, only surpassed by the largest pipe organs. The carillon consists of at least twenty-three bells, commonly hung in the bell tower of a church or a municipal building. The bells are rung by striking the enlarged keys of a keyboard with the fists, or by using foot pedals.

The ringing of church bells in Cambridge, Massachusetts, to celebrate Christmas Day in 1863, led to the writing of one of our Christmas carols. But it was not a joyous time in the home of the author, poet Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

The country was in the middle of the American Civil War. Not only did the conflict divide North and South. Sometimes families were split in their loyalties, and ended up fighting one another. More than six hundred thousand died in the war, and many more were wounded, including Longfellow’s nineteen-year-old son, Charles. The poet asked those around him–and the Lord as well–“Where is the peace?” Where was the fulfilment of the angelic message of peace to the shepherds of Bethlehem: “Peace on earth” (Lk. 2:14)?

The original Greek of the angel message is perhaps better rendered, “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace to men on whom His [God’s] favour rests” (NIV). The favour (or gracious gift) of God’s peace is claimed through faith in the Saviour who was born that day. “For He Himself is our peace” (Eph. 2:14).

And one day Christ will return to reign, finally bringing peace on earth. God’s plan for His Son will be fulfilled. That hope is behind what the poet wrote that Christmas Day, as he put his thoughts on paper.

Here are some stanzas of Longfellow’s familiar carol, including a couple we never sing now. They are addressed particularly to the death and destruction of the Civil War, revealing how the author found his way to hope, in a deeply troubling time.

1) I heard the bells on Christmas day
Their old familiar carols play,
And wild and sweet the words repeat
Of peace on earth, good will to men.

4) Then from each black, accursed mouth
The cannon thundered in the South,
And with the sound the carols drowned
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

5) It was as if an earthquake rent
The hearth-stones of a continent,
And made forlorn, the households born
Of peace on earth, goodwill to men.

6) And in despair I bowed my head .
“There is no peace on earth,” I said,
“For hate is strong and mocks the song
Of peace on earth, good will to men.”

7) Then pealed the bells more loud and deep:
“God is not dead, nor doth He sleep;
The wrong shall fail, the right prevail
With peace on earth, good will to men.”

Questions:
1) Have you heard church bells? (If so, what mood or message did they convey to you?)

2) At first, Longfellow thought of the bells as a mockery. What brought a brighter mood to him?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | December 15, 2017

O Lord of Heaven and Earth and Sea

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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: Christopher Wordsworth (b. Oct. 30, 1807; d. Mar. 20, 1885)
Music: Almsgiving (or Dykes), by John Bacchus Dykes (b. Mar. 10, 1823; d. Jan. 22, 1876)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Christopher Wordsworth)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Christopher Wordsworth was the nephew of famed poet William Wordsworth. For a time, he served as the head master of Harrow Boys School. Later he became the pastor of a church in an English town with the odd name of Stanford-in-the-Vale-cum-Goosey. He wrote many hymns, including O Day of Rest and Gladness, which presents three reasons why Christians have set aside Sunday as the Lord’s Day.

The history of money goes back a long way. In the beginning the currency used was things useful in themselves, such as livestock or sacks of grain. These were presented as payment for something else, a house, or perhaps a bride. Later, smaller and more portable things such as shells and beads became a recognized currency.

By 2000 BC, precious metals, gold and silver, were measured out by weight to make purchases. Abraham bought a piece of property as a burial ground for his wife, by weighing out four hundred shekels of silver (Gen. 23:14-16). The first coins came into use around 1000 BC, with paper money coming along much later.

Today, coins and paper money are still in common use, but two new means of payment are gaining ground. Credit cards were introduced in the 1950’s, and today many carry out Internet transactions from their computer or smart phone, with no physical exchange at all.

At the Jewish temple, in Jesus’ day, there were collection boxes with trumpet shaped openings at the top to receive the offerings of the people. In Luke 21:1-4 we see the Lord Jesus observing this procedure, and using it to teach His followers. The rich gave much, but a poor widow is commended by the Lord for putting two small coins in one of the boxes. Her gift was greater because she gave sacrificially, “out of her poverty.”

Giving to the Lord’s work has long been recognized as an individual responsibility. All of our blessings come from God, and we give to Him out of what He has given us (I Chron. 29:14). Someone has said, “Christian stewardship is the use of God-given resources to accomplish God-given goals.” Of course this covers not only our treasures (money), but also our time and talents being used for God. But when we put money on an offering plate, we’re giving it to the Lord, dedicating it to His service.

That means the church’s bank account becomes the Lord’s treasury, out of which His work is supported. In the early days of the church, believers met in homes (e.g. Phm. 1:2); there were no church buildings set aside for the purpose. (It looks as though the first came along in AD 231.) Now for most local churches, the upkeep of a building is part of their financial responsibility, along with purchasing the equipment and supplies needed to run a full church program.

Money is also designated for the support of church personnel. The pastor is supported out of the Lord’s treasury, so that he can give his full time to ministry (I Cor. 9:13-14; Gal. 6:6). And there’s an awareness that the congregation needs to assist those in special need in the community and beyond (Rom. 12:13; Gal. 2:10; I Jn. 3:17). As well, there’s the assistance of other Christian works (missions) across the world to be committed to (Phil. 4:15-16).

It’s important to be taught the responsibility of supporting the Lord’s work. We need to be informed as to what the Bible says about it. However, this presents a problem for some pastors. Because they themselves are financially supported by the church, they fear teaching on giving will be seen as an attempt to get more money for themselves from God’s people.

Pastor Wordsworth had a novel way around this. Discovering that those who attended had never been taught the duty and privilege of giving, he wrote a hymn about it, and had it sung about once a month. Apparently the gentle reminder worked. Givings in the church increased. (Note: the word “lend” in the seventh stanza is used in an older sense of give, or devote.)

CH-1) O Lord of heav’n and earth and sea,
To Thee all praise and glory be;
How shall we show our love to Thee,
Who givest all?

CH-2) The golden sunshine, vernal air,
Sweet flowers and fruits, Thy love declare;
Where harvests ripen, Thou art there,
Who givest all.

CH-3) For peaceful homes and healthful days,
For all the blessings earth displays,
We owe Thee thankfulness and praise,
Who givest all.

CH-4) Thou didst not spare Thine only Son,
But gav’st Him for a world undone,
And freely, with that blessèd One,
Thou givest all.

CH-7) We lose what on ourselves we spend,
We have as treasure without end
Whatever, Lord, to Thee we lend,
Who givest all.

Questions:
1) What do you have of time, talents and treasures that should be yielded to the Lord?

2) What is meant by sacrificial giving?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Christopher Wordsworth)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | December 13, 2017

O God, the Rock of Ages

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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: Edward Henry Bickersteth, Jr. (b. Jan. 25, 1825; d. May 16, 1906)
Music: Greenland (or Haydn), by Johann Michael Haydn (b. Sept. 14, 1737; d. Aug. 10, 1806)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Edward Bickersteth)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Edward Bickersteth was a pastor and a hymn book editor, as well as writing some hymns himself. He wrote this one for his congregation to sing on New Year’s Sunday, in 1860. He wanted to encourage their trust in God for the coming year, and he emphasized that the Lord’s care was assured, and His promises were dependable and unfailing.

The fable of the Three Little Pigs has been around for at least two centuries, perhaps longer. The Disney Studios made a popular cartoon version of it in 1933. In the story, Mama Pig sends her three offspring out into the world to seek their fortunes, and they each build a house to live in. One house is made of straw, another of sticks, and the third of bricks.

When a big bad wolf comes along, and he’s determined to dine on pork, he asks slyly to come in to each house in turn. When refused he says, “I’ll huff, and I’ll puff, and I’ll blow your house down!” Which he does easily, with the houses made of straw and of sticks. But he cannot blow down the house of bricks.

The details of the story have varied greatly over the years. In some versions, the first two pigs are eaten by the wolf; in others, they run for safety to the third brother’s house. In some accounts, the wolf is killed by the third pig; in others he simply runs away, never to return. Strangely, in still another story, the wolf is made out to be a kindly character!

The moral drawn from the tale has not always been the same either, but one that’s quite clear is this: If you’re going to build a house to live in, one where you’ll be safe, it pays use the strongest possible materials, and take the time and effort to build it well.

This has an application to the way God Himself is described in the Bible. Many times He is called the Rock of His people, or compared to a rock, the One in whom they may safely hide. The first instance is found in Deuteronomy 32:4, “He is the Rock,” declares Moses. Other examples from the Psalms:

“The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust….Blessed be my Rock!” (Ps. 18:2, 46).

“He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved” (Ps. 62:6).

“Oh come, let us sing to the Lord! Let us shout joyfully to the Rock of our salvation” (Ps. 95:1).

You can see the theme of protection and deliverance running through these verses. Climbing to the top of a rocky cliff, or hiding in a cave or crevice in it will provide a hiding place, a place of security. God’s steadfastness and trustworthiness are represented too.

That symbol is used in Augustus Toplady’s well known hymn that begins:

“Rock of ages, cleft for me,
Let me hide myself in Thee.”

There’s actually a Bible verse that uses that expression, but it isn’t made clear in some translations. Isaiah 26:4 says, “The Lord is everlasting strength” (NKJV), but the Hebrew word for strength (tsoor) can also be rendered “rock.” Here is how the Amplified Bible words the text:

“Trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]” (Isa. 26:4).

With echoes of Psalm 90, Pastor Bickersteth’s hymn says:

CH-1) O God, the Rock of Ages,
Who evermore hast been,
What time the tempest rages,
Our dwelling place serene:
Before Thy first creations,
O Lord, the same as now,
To endless generations,
The Everlasting, Thou.

CH-3) O Thou, who dost not slumber,
Whose light grows never pale,
Teach us aright to number
Our years before they fail;
On us Thy mercy lighten,
On us Thy goodness rest,
And let Thy Spirit brighten
The hearts Thyself hast blessed.

CH-4) Lord, crown our faith’s endeavor
With beauty and with grace,
Till, clothed in light forever,
We see Thee face to face:
A joy no language measures,
A fountain brimming o’er,
An endless flow of pleasures,
An ocean without shore.

Questions:
1) What are some things a great Rock might illustrate about the Lord?

2) How will the fact that God is your “Rock” affect your life in the coming days?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Edward Bickersteth)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | December 11, 2017

From Greenland’s Icy Mountains

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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: Reginald Heber (b. Apr. 21, 1783; d. Apr. 3, 1826)
Music: Missionary Hymn, by Lowell Mason (b. Jan. 8, 1792; d. Aug. 11, 1872)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: So well was Heber’s hymn written in the original manuscript form that not a word needed to be changed later. As for Lowell Mason, we know his work from many hymns in our hymnals. For example, he wrote the tune Bethany for the hymn Nearer, My God, to Thee.

There are many exclusive clubs around the world, where only members are allowed to enjoy the facilities and mingle with those deemed society’s elite. All others are excluded.

The application process to join these is rigorous, sometimes taking years. You must be recommended by at least two current members in good standing, and be a person with prestige and social influence. And you must by wealthy. The registration fee for one club is $50,000, plus an annual fee of $15,000. The Mar-a-Lago Club, in Florida, has become famous recently because it’s owned by Donald Trump, the current president of the United States. To join you must pay $200,000, in addition to an annual fee of $16,000.

And this does not mean that everything inside is free for the members. They must still pay for meals, for a round of golf, or a game of tennis, or other services. What then are the advantages for the chosen few? Perhaps business contacts that may pay dividends down the road. Otherwise there’s not much to say for membership, when weighed against the cost. Some people might look up to you for being a member, but those are pretty expensive bragging rights!

Aren’t you glad the Christian gospel is not like that. It’s not for an exclusive few. Jesus said:

“Those who are well have no need of a physician, but those who are sick. I did not come to call the righteous, but sinners, to repentance” (Mk. 2:17).

“That whoever [anyone and everyone who] believes in Him [Christ] should not perish but have everlasting life” (Jn. 3:10).

“Whoever calls on the name of the Lord [in faith] shall be saved” (Rom. 10:13).

This is reflected in what has been called the Great Commission, given by the Lord to His followers, that they should share the good news of salvation through faith in Christ with everyone, everywhere–with “All the nations” (Matt. 28:19; Lk. 24:47); “all the world” (Mk. 16:15); “to the end of the earth” (Acts 1:8).

That was the ministry of the apostles, after Christ’s ascension, and from the first century onward there has always been Christian missionary outreach. However there was a great resurgence of world evangelism late in the eighteenth century and through to the early twentieth century.

Called the “Great Century” of Christian missions, it was begun by the pioneering work of William Carey in India. Carey (1761-1826) has been called the Father of Modern Missions. This was also the time when Reginald Heber lived, a godly Anglican clergyman, later the bishop of India, and the author of a number of wonderful hymns.

In 1819, a royal letter was sent to churches in England, calling for a collection to be made to help the Society for the Propagation of the Gospel. Heber wrote a hymn to be sung on that occasion in his father-in-law’s church. The words of the hymn were written out on slips of paper, and the following day (Sunday) were sung to the tune of an old ballad.

Then, two or three years later, the words came to the attention of a woman living in Savannah, Georgia, who saw the need for a better tune. She happened to know a young bank clerk who lived down the street who was said to have musical talent. She took the words to him, and in half an hour he composed Missionary Hymn, the great tune we use today. The bank clerk was Lowell Mason. It was his first hymn tune, and he went on to write dozens more.

CH-1) From Greenland’s icy mountains, from India’s coral strand;
Where Afric’s sunny fountains roll down their golden sand:
From many an ancient river, from many a palmy plain,
They call us to deliver their land from error’s chain.

CH-3) Shall we, whose souls are lighted with wisdom from on high,
Shall we to those benighted the lamp of life deny?
Salvation! O salvation! The joyful sound proclaim,
Till earth’s remotest nation has learned Messiah’s name.

CH-4) Waft, waft, ye winds, His story, and you, ye waters, roll
Till, like a sea of glory, it spreads from pole to pole:
Till o’er our ransomed nature the Lamb for sinners slain,
Redeemer, King, Creator, in bliss returns to reign.

Questions:
1) What is your church doing in support of world missions?

2) What are you doing personally to support this work of world evangelism?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | December 8, 2017

Learning to Lean

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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 Stallings (b. _____, 1938)
Music: John Stallings

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (none)
Hymnary.org

Note: John Stallings (born in Georgia) has been a pastor and evangelist, and a singer and song-writer, over the course of many years. During the 1970’s, when Southern Gospel Music came to prominence, with the influence of musicians such as Bill and Gloria Gaither, John Stallings wrote his most popular Christian song. It has a similar theme to Hoffman and Showalter’s Leaning on the Everlasting Arms (based on Deut. 33:27).

Consider what it means to lean–to tilt, slant or bend. Often it implies a need to lean on something, for support of some kind.

The Leaning Tower of Pisa, in Italy, is the free-standing bell tower of a nearby church. Completed over six centuries ago, it was built on marshy ground, and began to tilt almost immediately. As the angle of incline continued to grow, it was feared the tower would collapse. But engineers have used counterweights, bracing, and improvements to the foundation to stabilize it. The tower now seems safe from falling any time soon.

People can lean too, a little bit, and straighten up again without a problem. But when weakness or injury brings the danger of falling, various aids are used to provide support. Perhaps the injured limb is strengthened with a bandage or a cast, or the individual leans on a cane, crutches, or some kind of walker, to give more confidence in getting around.

Spiritually, this has an application to our faith in God. To lean on the Lord is to trust in Him, to depend and rely on Him. God’s Word says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him [as Lord], and He shall direct your paths” (Prov. 3:5-6).

In the affairs of life, there are definitely things we should not lean on, as the passage indicates. That’s not to suggest, of course, that we shouldn’t use the brains God has given us, and apply our experience and training to a given situation. But we should beware of making that the bottom line, of making no attempt to factor in God’s Word and will. We might end up building a tower on marshy ground!

As the Lord Jesus put it in a parable:

“Everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall” (Matt. 7:26-27).

“Come to Me, all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28).

When life’s puzzles confuse and confound us, we need to lean on the Lord and His certain Word. Missionary to China Hudson Taylor once said, “Trust in the Lord is not heavy baggage, and it never fails.”

John Stallings had been the pastor of a church in Montgomery, Alabama, for a time. Author Lindsay Terry, in his 1990 book, Stories Behind Popular Songs and Hymns, says it was then multiple trials descended on his life. One of his daughters took sick and nearly died, another daughter was seriously injured in a car accident. Also, Pastor Stallings felt it was time to leave his ministry in Montgomery. He moved to Florida, when he began to construct a new home.

In Terry’s words, “Things weren’t going well.” But Stallings determined to trust in the Lord. One day he was sitting in the place where he lived in those days, and the words and music of a simple little chorus came to him.

Learning to lean, learning to lean,
I’m learning to lean on Jesus.
Finding more power than I’d ever dreamed
I’m learning to lean on Jesus.

John Stallings had no idea what an impact that chorus would have. He shared it in various places where he was booked to preach, and soon it was being sung everywhere. Many were blessed by the reminder to trust in the Lord. Mr. Terry even reports a time when the Lord used the chorus to pull her back from suicide.

A few months later, Stallings wrote a couple of stanzas to go with it, making it a full song. It’s been published in Praise! Our Songs and Hymns (Singspiration, 1979), and Favorites Number 9 (Singspiration, 1981).

The song–especially the chorus–remains a favourite, and has encouraged many of us to lean on the Lord in difficult times. It’s something we all need to be doing–learning to lean trustingly on Him.

Questions:
1) What is an experience you’ve had recently when leaning on the Lord became a reality?

2) How do we “learn to lean”?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (none)
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | December 6, 2017

Jesus, Still Lead On

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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: Nikolaus Ludwig von Zinzendorf (b. May 26, 1700; d. May 9, 1760)
Music: Seelenbräutigam, by Adam Drese (b. Dec. ___, 1620; d. Feb. 15, 1701)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Count von Zinzendorf)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: Nikolaus von Zinzendorf was born into aristocracy and wealth in Germany, but from boyhood he had a desire to be a follower of Christ, and bring others to Him. Submitting to the wishes of his family, he trained as a lawyer, but that was not to be his life’s work. When he married, in 1722, he and his wife agreed to lay aside their rank and give themselves to winning others to the Saviour. Zinzendorf also wrote about two thousand hymns.

A follower is literally one who comes after. The word may have been passed down to us from the Old English term full-gan, meaning full going. This can refer to an individual traveling on behind the one in front, from one place to another. But we more commonly use it as a synonym for a disciple, and mean someone who accepts the teaching and authority of another.

Evolutionist Charles Darwin (1809-1882), whose Godless theories came to be called Darwinism, has had many followers in the latter sense, including British author H. G. Wells. Psychoanalyst Sigmund Freud (1856-1939) and Freudism significantly influenced the theories of psychiatrists Carl Jung and Alfred Adler. The political theories of Chinese Communist Mao Zedong (1893-1976), later called Maoism, have been reproduced in many other countries, including Cambodia and Bangladesh.

Disciple and follower are, of course, words the Bible uses too, many times, particularly in the four Gospels, and the book of Acts, where believers become disciples and followers of Jesus Christ. The term disciple translates the Greek word mathetes, from which we get our word mathematics. It suggests a disciplined course of study, and the Lord makes it clear that learning from Him will also involve serving Him and labouring on His behalf. Jesus said:

“The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve” (Mk. 10:45). And, “I have given you an example, that you should do as I have done to you” (Jn. 13:15).

A disciple, then, is what we could call a learner-servant of Christ. And we are summoned, not only to preach the gospel and call others to put their faith in Christ, but to enlist them too as His learner-servants: “Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations” (Matt. 28:19).

Christians are followers of Christ. The Gospels show the Lord calling others to Him for that purpose.

“He said to them [fishermen named Peter and Andrew], ‘Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men [in other words, disciple-makers]’” (Matt. 4:19).

And we see them doing that in Acts, beginning in Jerusalem, where “the word of God spread, and the number of the disciples multiplied greatly” (Acts 6:7). Later a new term was introduced: “The disciples were first called Christians in Antioch” (Acts 11:26).

This leads us to look at a remarkable man. During a time of religious persecution, Zinzendorf offered his estate as a refuge for Moravian believers fleeing their oppressors. He and another man, a carpenter named Christian David, built the village of Herrnhut (meaning the Lord’s Shelter) as a religious community that grew to about six hundred people. Later, learning of the need for a gospel witness in America and the West Indies, and elsewhere, the Moravians began sending out missionaries.

It was through meeting Moravians that John and Charles Wesley were converted. Another thing that linked them together was a great love of hymns, and an awareness of their importance in ministry. Charles Wesley wrote many, and so did Count von Zinzendorf. Best known is the latter’s hymn Jesus, Thy Blood and Righteousness, translated from German into English by John Wesley. But another of Zinzendorf’s songs speaks of being a follower of Christ.

(The word “fatherland” refers to one’s native country. Zinzendorf uses it in the hymn as a term for heaven, the Christian’s native land through the new birth (cf. Phil. 3:20).)

CH-1) Jesus, still lead on, till our rest be won,
And, although the way be cheerless,
We will follow calm and fearless,
Guide us by Thy hand to our fatherland.

CH-2) If the way be drear, if the foe be near,
Let no faithless fears o’ertake us,
Let not faith and hope forsake us,
For through many a woe to our home we go.

CH-4) Jesus, still lead on, till our rest be won;
Heavenly Leader, still direct us,
Still support, control, protect us,
Till we safely stand in our fatherland.

Questions:
1) What has it meant in your own life to be a “follower” of Christ?

2) Zinzendorf speaks of times when the way is “cheerless,” and of going through “many a woe.” How do these things relate to your own experience? (And how has the Lord sustained you then?)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (Count von Zinzendorf)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | December 4, 2017

Come, Thou Long Expected Jesus

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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 Wesley (b. Dec. 18, 1707; d. Mar. 29, 1788)
Music: Hyfrydol, by Roland Huw Prichard (b. Jan. 14, 1811; d. Jan. 25, 1887)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Note: John Wesley, with his brother Charles, brought revival and influenced social reform in Britain in their day. While John did most of the preaching, Charles provided more than 6,000 hymns that winged the truth into hearts through music. Two and a half centuries later, hymn books still contain many of his songs: Jesus, Lover of My Soul; Christ the Lord Is Risen Today; Rejoice, the Lord Is King; Depth of Mercy, Can There Be; O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing; Hark, the Herald Angels Sing; And Can It Be? and Soldiers of Christ Arise, to name just a few.

The great Welsh tune Hyfrydol is also used with the hymn Our Great Saviour, and can be used effectively with Philip Bliss’s hymn, I Will Sing of My Redeemer.

The stillness of the night seems to wash tension from our souls, bringing a calming sense of peace. We heave a gentle sigh of contentment. Then, suddenly, the silence is broken by a crack of thunder, and soon torrents of rain are lashing windows illuminated by jagged streaks of lightning.

A sudden noise can break the silence. But we use that phrase another way too. It can mean we begin to talk about something that seemed to be, for whatever reason, off limits before. A variety of subjects can be kept from casual conversation by a kind of unspoken consensus. Family conflicts, money troubles, and more. Years ago, nervous breakdowns and depression, a pregnancy outside of marriage, and terminal illness were seldom discussed openly. (Some doctors even advised not telling the patient that his life was about to end.)

There can be silence as well about social wrongs rooted in prejudice. In Canada, First Nations people have broken the silence about abuses suffered during the days of the Residential Schools (1876-1996). And in recent days more and more women are speaking up about verbal and physical abuse suffered in the workplace and elsewhere. In many cases the harm that was done has left behind a trail of bitterness, mistrust, and even despair.

Breaking the silence takes courage, but ideally it will bring a new sense of hope and freedom to the individual, and a new understanding on the part of the rest of us. Learning to listen with compassion, and be supportive, when sufferers share painful things, can help to bring change and healing.

In the Bible, there is a long silence of another kind that was suddenly broken. It actually divides our Bible in two.

In about 415 BC, the Old Testament prophet Malachi predicted the coming of the Lord, and the ministry of John the Baptist to announce His appearing.

“Behold, I send My messenger, and he will prepare the way before Me. And the Lord, whom you seek, will suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the covenant, in whom you delight” (Mal. 3:1).

Malachi is the last book of the Old Testament. When we turn the page, Matthew begins. But four centuries passed in between. Bible scholars sometimes refer to them as the Four Hundred Silent Years. “The Sun of righteousness shall arise with healing in His wings [or beams]” wrote the prophet (Mal. 4:2). But when? Year after year the people of Israel waited and longed for His coming, only to be disappointed.

Generations passed. And there does not seem to have been a single inspired prophecy in all those years. Only divine silence.

The breaking of the silence came around 5 BC, with an angelic visitation to an elderly Levitical priest named Zacharias. His wife Elizabeth was barren, and a senior citizen too. But the angel informed Zacharias that he would have a son, one who’d “go before Him [the Lord Jesus]” and “make ready a people prepared for the Lord” (Lk. 1:17). God’s “messenger” predicted by Malachi was to come at last.

Six months later, the angel Gabriel visited a young virgin in Nazareth named Mary, and told her that, by a miraculous work of the Holy Spirit, she would give birth to the promised One, the Messiah–to be called Jesus (Lk. 1:31-35).

After His birth in Bethlehem, the angelic announcement came, “There is born to you…a Saviour.” And the joyful news of His coming called for the enlistment of a whole choir of angels proclaiming, “Glory to God in the highest! (Lk. 2:11, 14).

In 1745 hymn writer Charles Wesley published a short hymn that brought the longing for His advent down to a personal level. It expresses the needy sinner’s desire that Christ would enter his life to bring eternal salvation and a new hope and new direction in life, through His reign there.

CH-1) Come, Thou long expected Jesus
Born to set Thy people free;
From our fears and sins release us,
Let us find our rest in Thee.
Israel’s Strength and Consolation,
Hope of all the earth Thou art;
Dear Desire of every nation,
Joy of every longing heart.

CH-2) Born Thy people to deliver,
Born a child and yet a King,
Born to reign in us forever,
Now Thy gracious kingdom bring.
By Thine own eternal Spirit
Rule in all our hearts alone;
By Thine all sufficient merit,
Raise us to Thy glorious throne.

Questions:
1) As a Jew who believed God’s Word, how would you feel and act if you lived during the Four Hundred Silent Years?

2) What would be the evidence in lives if Christ were to “rule in all our hearts alone [i.e. without a rival]”?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (for another article see here)
The Cyber Hymnal
Hymnary.org

Posted by: rcottrill | December 1, 2017

Gazing on the Lord

Graphic Bob New Glasses 2015HOW TO USE THIS BLOG
1) The Almanac. Click on the month you want in the side-bar, then the specific date. The blog will tell you what happened in hymn history on that day.
2) Reflections. There is always a current article on a hymn. But you can find many others by clicking on the Index tab. (More being added all the time.)
3) Topical Articles are opinion pieces on many aspects sacred music.
4) To Donate. If you can help with the cost of developing and maintaining this site, click on the “Support” tab above and the page will show you how.

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: Centra Thompson (no data available)
Music: Dijon, by J. G. Bitthauer (18th century, no other information)

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (none)
Hymnary.org

Note: Nothing is currently known about Miss Centra Thompson, but she has given us a lovely hymn about believers gazing in wonder and worship on the Lord Jesus in heaven. If you know other things about her–birth and death dates, country she’s from, etc., please pass the information along to me.

It was a rare event. In August of 2017 a solar eclipse tracked across the entire United States. Even those a distance to the south and north got to see at least a partial eclipse. But seeing was a potential problem. We didn’t want to miss it. But warning after warning was issued concerning the damage that could be done by gazing directly at the sun. To gaze or not to gaze.

We’ve likely all experienced sunburns on our skin from the harmful rays of the sun, if we don’t use proper UV protection. It’s also possible to get a burn on the retina of the eye (and the damage is not reversible). The only safe way to view the eclipse was through specially designed dark glasses, or through a device that would project the image on a piece of card. It’s to be hoped all acted wisely and enjoyed the experience.

But consider the word “gaze” for a moment. Gazing is usually applied to something that has little or no movement. It’s difficult to gaze at a meteor that’s gone in the blink of an eye. The word relates to things that are stationary or slow moving.

The dictionary says it means: to look steadily and intently, with feelings such as great curiosity, interest, pleasure or wonder. A couple of related words carry a different emphasis. To gape at something is to stare at it open-mouthed. To gawk is to stare foolishly, without being sensitive to the meaning. An example of the latter would be gawking at a car accident, with no concern for those involved, and no intention of helping.

Applied negatively, we can gaze in shock at a huge bill from the plumber, or gaze with hurt feelings at an angry letter from someone we considered a friend. We can also gaze lustfully at impure photographs. On the positive side, we can gaze in wonder at a beautiful flower, or the crimson glory of a sunset.

We can find examples of the word in the Bible. At the time of Jesus’ ascension back into heaven, two “men” (likely angels) appeared to His disciples and said:

““Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven” (Acts 1:11).

And when Stephen was stoned to death, becoming the first Christian martyr, we read:

“He, being full of the Holy Spirit, gazed into heaven and saw the glory of God, and Jesus standing at the right hand of God” (Acts 7:55).

Other times the same Greek word is translated differently, but to express a similar meaning. At the synagogue in Nazareth, when Jesus began to speak, the people sat with “eyes…fixed on Him” (Lk. 4:20). And when Paul was summoned before the Jewish Sanhedrin, he stood “looking earnestly at the council” (Acts 23:1). The same Greek word, in both cases.

We look forward to the time when the children of God will be gathered around His heavenly throne. In that day we will gaze upon the glorified Son of God with awe and adoration. That is what Miss Thompson tried to capture, at least in part.

Significantly, the marks of Calvary were clearly evident after Christ’s resurrection. For doubting Thomas this was a final proof it was indeed the risen Lord who met with them (Jn. 20:24-28). And in one of John’s visions of heaven, Christ appears as “a Lamb as though it had been slain” (Rev. 5:6), eliciting these words of praise:

“Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honour and glory and blessing!” (vs. 11-13).

It seems likely that the scars of Christ’s crucifixion will still be visible in heaven, reminding us of the great cost of our salvation, and filling us anew with joyful praise and worship.

1) Gazing on the Lord in glory,
While our hearts in worship bow,
There we read the wondrous story
Of the cross, it’s shame and woe:

2) Ev’ry mark of dark dishonour
Heaped upon the thorn-crowned brow,
All the depths of Thy heart’s sorrow,
Told in answ’ring glory now!

3) On that cross, alone, forsaken,
Where no pitying eye was found;
Now, to God’s right hand exalted
With Thy praise the heav’ns resound!

Questions:
1) What have you gazed at recently that was a joy and a blessing?

2) Can you think of a couple of reasons why the disciples needed to stop gazing up into heaven in Acts 1:11?

Links:
Wordwise Hymns (none)
The Cyber Hymnal (none)
Hymnary.org

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