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Notes on the Notes – January 31, 2021

This week’s music:

“O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing” (VU #326)

“O for a thousand tongues to sing my great Redeemer’s praise,
The glories of my God and King, the triumphs of God’s grace.

Jesus! the name that charms our fears, that bids our sorrows cease;
‘Tis music in the sinner’s ears, ’tis life and health and peace.

He speaks, and listening to his voice, new life the dead receive,
The mournful broken hearts rejoice, the humble poor believe.

My gracious Master and my God, assist me to proclaim,
To spread through all the earth abroad the honours of your name.”

Our opening hymn is a song of praise to God and Jesus. The middle verses reference the scriptures’ telling of Jesus healing. Charles Wesley (1707-1788) wrote this hymn in 1739 to com­mem­o­rate the first an­ni­ver­sa­ry of his con­ver­sion to Christ.  The first verse is actually verse seven of Wes­ley’s orig­in­al po­em.  Wesley’s original hymn had 18 stanzas celebrating the freedom gained through spiritual conversion.  This week we will be using four verses for our opening hymn.
The melody AZMON, is by Carl Gotthelf Glaser (ca 1828).  It is a German tune collected by Lowell Mason during his European tour in 1837.  It was used as the setting for Wesley’s hymn in “Songs for a Gospel People” (1987).

Hear the song sung with pipe organ at:   https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7XVwxOfG1oY

“Lord, Speak to Me” (VU #589)

Lord, speak to me that I may speak in living echoes of your tone;
As you have sought, so let me seek your straying children lost and lone.

O lead me, so that I may lead the wandering and the wavering feet;
O feed me, so that I may feed your hungering ones with manna sweet.

O teach me, so that I may teach the precious truths which you impart;
And wing my words, that they may reach the hidden depths of many a heart.

O fill me with your fullness, Lord, until my very heart o’erflows
In kindling thought and glowing word, your love to tell, your praise to show.”

The words for this hymn, written by Frances Havergal, were based on Romans 14:7.  It was first published in a leaflet under the title “A Worker’s Prayer” (1874), referring to her work as an Evangelical lay leader in the Church of England.  The words are a prayer for God to work through us. The melody, WINSCOTT, was composed by Samuel Sebastian Welsley (1872).

Hear the hymn used in worship at Strathroy United Church:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iKmAZHK_VCg%3Ffeature%3Doembed

“Brighten the Corner Where You Are”

Do not wait until some deed of greatness you may do,
Do not wait to shed your light afar,
To the many duties ever near you now be true,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor, you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Just above are clouded skies that you may help to clear,
Let not narrow self your way debar;
Though into one heart alone may fall you song of cheer,
Brighten the corner where you are!

Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor, you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

Here for all your talent you may surely find a need,
Here reflect the bright and Morning Star;
Even from your humble hand the Bread of Life may feed,
Brighten the corner where you are.

Brighten the corner where you are!
Brighten the corner where you are!
Someone far from harbor, you may guide across the bar;
Brighten the corner where you are!

The text for this week’s anthem was written by Ina Mae Duley Ogdon, who was born on April 3, 1872 (some sources say 1877), at Rossville, IL. Early in life, Mrs. Ogdon, who was a gifted speaker, had hoped to join the Chautauqua Circuit and was finally selected to go. However, her father’s illness as a result of an automobile accident in 1912, just before she was to leave on tour, forced her to abandon her plans in order to care for him at home. Overcoming anger and resentment from this tragedy, in 1913 she completed an encouraging poem entitled “Brighten the Corner Where You Are” to show how one can serve the Lord in many different circumstances, or, in other words, to make the best of where you find yourself. The tune was composed by her frequent and long-term collaborator, Charles Hutchinson Gabriel (1856-1932). It was first introduced in a crusade at Wilkes-Barre, PA, later that year.

The words of the song help us to appreciate even the small things that we can do for God. The first verse encourages us to be lights in the world, from wherever we find ourselves to be. The second verse reminds us to reach beyond ourselves to even “one heart alone.” The third verse encourages us to reflect the influence of Christ in our lives and to use the talents we have been given. The main thought of the chorus, “brighten the corner where you are” reaffirms the idea that, wherever we may be, we can still contribute in helping others. The phrase “someone far from harbor you may guide across the bar,” is a reference to a sandbar, an obstruction that’s very dangerous to cross in a boat. The chorus of the hymn encourages us to do a good deed, to help someone who’s at sea (figuratively speaking) and needs guidance to get safely home.

Hear a 1915 recording of the song played on a 1920 Victrola

“Healer of Our Every Ill” (VU #619)

Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow,
Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.

You who know our fears and sadness, grace us with your peace and gladness.
Spirit of all comfort, fill our hearts.
In the pain and joy beholding, how your grace is still unfolding.
Give us all your vision, God of love.

Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow,
Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.

Give us strength to love each other, every sister, every brother.
Spirit of all kindness, be our guide.
You who know each thought and feeling, teach us all your way of healing.
Spirit of compassion, fill each heart.

Healer of our every ill, light of each tomorrow,
Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow.

Marty Haugen (b. 1950) wrote this meditative song in 1986. It was written as an expression of grief following the space shuttle Challenger explosion on January 28, 1986.

Haugen uses the text of this hymn as a prayer for healing, not only of the body but also of the mind and spirit. The refrain, “Give us peace beyond our fear, and hope beyond our sorrow,” is a powerful prayer and helps us express thoughts we find difficult to put into words. This hymn is also about joy, as evidenced in stanza two with the words, “your grace is still unfolding.” Stanza three’s text, “Give us strength to love each other,” uses language that urges us, even in times of sorrow and fear, to show love and kindness to our sisters and brothers in Christ. The last verse of the hymn asks us to teach Christ’s way of healing and to fill each heart with compassion. (Source: Discipleship Ministries)

Categories: General News, Notes on the Notes