Notes on the Notes – February 10, 2013

Transfiguration Sunday

Readings: Exodus 34:29-35 and 2 Corinthians 3:12-4:2

Shine, Jesus, Shine – This week’s anthem, “Shine, Jesus, Shine” (also known by its first line, “Lord, the Light of Your Love”) is a Christian praise song written in 1987 by Graham Kendrick.

In the book Behind The Songs which Kendrick wrote with Clive Price, the singer/songwriter wrote about the origins of “Shine Jesus Shine”.   “At the time of writing it, Ichthus Christian Fellowship was focusing on the theme of the presence and holiness of God – the God who dwells in unapproachable light. I remember writing the three verses without the chorus and road-testing them. For some reason they weren’t quite happening, so the song went back in the file for several months. Later, I came back to a phase of songwriting and I pulled it out again… “The phrase ‘shine Jesus shine’ came to mind. I think it was one of the quickest things I’ve ever written! Within 20 minutes or half an hour I’d written the chorus and the whole thing just needed a little bit of editing and tidying up here and there. The chorus fell into place surprisingly naturally. But even then it took a while to mature. I’d written the verses at a different pace. So the tempo of verse and chorus seemed to pull against one another. It was only through use that it actually began to settle down. As I worked on it with my band, an arrangement and a way of doing it took shape. Then it started to feel like a complete song…

Graham Kendrick - Shine Jesus Shine: Classic songs of Christian music history
To listen to Graham Kendrick performing this song go to :

We Have Come at Christ’s Own Bidding(VU #104) -Carl Pickens Daw Jr. (b. 1944) based this text on the Gospel story of the Transfiguration. The poem juxtaposes the responses of the disciples Peter, James, and John with those of modern-day Christians as they approach the worship experience.   Rowland Hugh Prichard (1811-1887) composed this tune and included it in his Cyfaill y Cantorion (trans: The Singer’s Friend), which was published in 1844 to provide more-appropriate music for Sunday-school songs.  The tune HYFRYDOL means “pleasant” and “melodious” in Welsh. Rowland H. Prichard worked in the textile industry but enjoyed composing church music as his hobby. His simple yet powerful tunes were typical of his native Wales. The churches in Wales encourage singing, often a capella, and Welsh choirs produce a sound unlike any found elsewhere.   Source:  First Congregational United Church of Christ Madison WI.

From the Slave Pens of the Delta (VU 690) – This modern text by Herbert O’Driscoll of Victoria, BC, links the story of Moses and the Exodus with the contemporary  need for freedom and justice.  It was first published in The Hymn Book in 1971.

Love Divine, All Loves Excelling(VU #333) – Charles Wesley (1707-1788) first published this hymn in a 1747 pamphlet with the title “Hymns for those that seek and those that have Redemption in the Blood of Jesus Christ.”  Many believe his inspiration for these words stemmed from the poems of Dryden or Joseph Addison.   Charles Wesley was born in Epworth, England, on December 18, 1707, and was educated for the Anglican priesthood.  He was ordained in 1735 and assisted his brother John in spreading the doctrines of the Oxford Methodists.  Charles never renounced his Anglican ordination vows, however.

John Zundel (1815-1882) composed BEECHER for this text in 1870.  It is named after his friend Lyman Beecher, a prominent preacher in the United States.  It has also been called ZUNDEL for the composer, and LOVE DIVINE from these words by Wesley. John Zundel was born December 10, 1815, at Hochdorf, Germany, and died at Cannstadt, Germany, in July 1882.  However, he spent thirty years as a church organist in the United States, chief among them at Plymouth Congregational Church in Brooklyn, New York where Henry Ward Beecher was the minister.  Source:  First Congregational United Church of Christ Madison WI.


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