Notes on the Notes – January 27, 2013
Theme: Keeping Sabbath in a non-Christian country
Readings: Nehemiah 8:1-3,5-6,8-10/Luke 4:14-21
This week’s music:
“Take Time to be Holy” (VU #672) – William D. Longstaff, an English businessman, wrote this hymn at an annual Keswick Convention in response to an account of the work of Griffith Jones, a missionary in China who was reported to have been preaching on the subject of holiness. The Keswick Convention, which has met annually since 1875, is a gathering of evangelical Christians in Keswick, in the English county of Cumbria. The composer, George C. Stebbins, wrote the tune while working on an evangelical campaign in India; it was published in 1890.
“Deep in Our Hearts” (MV #154) – This song, with words by John Oldham and music by Ron Klusmeier, speaks to the longing for God that is common across time and faith divisions. See Ron playing this song with a choir in Carman on his “Tour of a Lifetime” in August at: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YnZaO8udMcQ
“On Christ I Stand”– Today’s anthem, with music by Benjamin Harlan (1996), uses words written by Edward Mote, a pastor and hymn writer. Born in London in January 1797, he was trained as a cabinet maker and worked in London for many years. Later he entered the ministry and was pastor at Rehoboth Baptist Church in West Sussex for 26 years. He was well liked by the congregation and they offered him the church building as a gift. Mote replied “I do not want the chapel, I only want the pulpit; and when I cease to preach Christ, then turn me out of that.” He died in November 1874 and is buried in the church yard at Rehoboth Church. Perhaps his best known hymn is “My Hope is Built on Nothing Less”, which refers to the Parable of the Wise and Foolish Builders, with its refrain ‘On Christ the solid Rock I stand, All other ground is sinking sand’.
“In Christ There is No East or West” (VU #606) – The words of this hymn come from The Pageant of Darkness and Light (1908), a musical production of the London Missionary Society. A revised version was made for Songs for a Gospel People (1987). This week we are using the tune, ST PETER, which was written by Alexander Robert Reinagle ca. 1830. It is named after the church in Oxford where he served as organist for thirty years. Over the century since it was first written, the focus of this hymn has shifted from world missions in the early 20th century to a great hymn of Christian unity for the 21st-century church.