[Biblemat] hymn study, "Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word"
Wayne S Walker
wswalker310 at juno.com
Sat Aug 21 08:38:15 CDT 2010
Week of 8/21/2010
Wayne Walker here with another weekly hymn study.
HYMN OF THE WEEK
Weekly hymn studies
BLESSED JESUS, AT THY WORD
at Thy word I will let down the net (Lk. 5:5)
INTRO.: A hymn which indicates that we should hear and obey the
word of our Master is Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word. The text of stanzas
1-3 was written by Tobias Clausnitzer, who was born on Feb. 2, 1619, at
Thum near Annaberg in Saxony, Germany. After studying at various
universities, and finally at Leipzig where he received an MA in 1643) he
was appointed chaplain to a Swedish regiment in 1644. In that position,
he preached the thanksgiving sermon in St. Thomas Church, Leipzig, on
the accession of Christina as Queen of Sweden in 1645, and also the
thanksgiving sermon at the field service held by command of General
Wrangel, at Weiden, in the Upper Palatine on Jan. 1, 1649, after the
conclusion of the Peace of Westphalia. In 1649, Clausnitzer became
minister at Weiden, also in Upper Palatine, also later serving as a
member of the Consistory, and inspector of the district. This hymn
(Liebster Jesu wir sind hier) first appeared in the 1663 Altdorffisches
Gesang-Büchlein. Clausnitzer remained at Weiden until his death there
on May 7, 1684.
Stanza 4, by an unknown author, dates to around 1707. The English
translation was made by Catherine Winkworth (1829-1878). It first
appeared in her Lyra Germanica of 1858. The tune (Liebster Jesu) most
often used with Clausnitzers text was composed in 1664 by Johann Rudolf
Ahle (1625-1673). Today, in many books it is usually associated with
Percy Dearmers Book of Books, Our Peoples Strength. Another tune
(St. Albinus) that can be arranged to work with Clausnitzers text was
composed in 1852 by Henry John Gauntlett (1805-1876). It was probably
intended to be used with Christian Gellerts 1757 Jesus Lives, and So
Shall I. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lords church
during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song, I
believe, may be found in the 1986 Great Songs Revised edited by Forest M.
McCann; the Gauntlett tune may be found with Brian Wrens 1977/1995 hymn
Jesus, on the Mountain Peak in the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by
John P. Wiegand.
The hymn emphasizes the blessings that are to be gained by gathering
to hear the Lords word.
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word
was God. John 1:1-2
Also Jn. 6:68
I. Stanza 1 points out that it draws us from earth to God
Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word
We are gathered all to hear Thee;
Let our hearts and souls be stirred
Now to seek and love and fear Thee,
By Thy teachings sweet and holy,
Drawn from earth to love Thee solely. Alleluia!
A. While we can and should search the scriptures on our own, there are
times when, like Cornelius and his household, we are gathered together to
hear the word of God: Acts 10:33
B. If our attitude is right, our hearts and souls will be stirred up and
burn with us when we hear the scriptures, just as the two disciples on
the road to Emmaus when they heard Jesus open the scriptures to them: Lk.
C. Through these teachings, as we are taught, hear, and learn from the
Father, God draws us to Christ: Jn. 6:44-45
II. Stanza 2 points out that it gives us knowledge
All our knowledge, sense and sight
Lie in deepest darkness shrouded,
Till Thy Spirit breaks our night
With the beams of truth unclouded.
Thou alone to God canst win us;
Thou must work all good within us. Alleluia!
A. God has provided all things that pertain to life and godliness
through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue: 2 Pet.
B. This knowledge is provided by the Holy Spirit, who breaks our night
with the beams of truth revealed in that which He guided the inspired
apostles and prophets to write: Eph. 3:3-5
C. Thus, through His work in revealing the scriptures, the Spirit wins
us and works all good within us because He is the one who convicts the
world of sin, righteousness, and judgment: Jn. 16;7-13
III. Stanza 3 points out that it imparts light from God
Glorious Lord, Thyself impart!
Light of Light, from God proceeding,
Open Thou our ears and heart;
Help us by Thy Spirits pleading;
Hear the cry Thy people raises;
Hear and bless our prayers and praises. Alleluia!
A. God is light: 1 Jn. 1:5
B. He opens our ears and hearts by the word which reveals unto us the
Spirits pleading and thus brings light to our feet: Ps. 119:18, 105
C. In return, we should bless Him with prayers and praises: Rev, 4:9-11
IV. Stanza 4 points out that it will help us obtain true consolation
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Praise to Thee and adoration!
Grant that we Thy Word may trust
And obtain true consolation
While we here below must wander,
Till we sing Thy praises yonder. Alleluia!
A. Whenever we praise God, we are praising Father, Son, and Holy Ghost:
B. Only as we trust their revealed word can we obtain true consolation:
2 Cor. 1:3-5
C. This consolation will guide us while we here below must wander until
that time comes when we sing Gods praises yonder: Rev. 15:1-4
CONCL.: During the time of the Reformation, the German churches
were singing chorales, while the English churches were using primarily
the Psalms. Gradually, hymns of human composure came to be predominant
in the English churches in the eighteenth century, but it was not until
the nineteenth century that English churches began to be introduced to
the rich tradition of German chorales in English translations. While
most everyone is familiar with Luthers A Mighty Fortress Is Our God,
many of the others have only recently come to be included in books
published by those associated with churches of Christ. Surely, as we
assemble together, we should have an attitude by which we say to the
Lord, Blessed Jesus, at Thy Word.
Wayne S. Walker
503 S. Jefferson St.
Salem, IL 62881
home phone: (618) 548-6286
cell phone: (618) 292-2694
e-mail: wswalker310 at juno.com
Notes: Other hymn studies are available at the Hymn Studies weblog.
Also, some of my previous hymn studies are now included in book that I
have written entitled Songs of Zion. It can be ordered from the publisher
by calling 1-800-423-2484 or going to www.faith-facts.com . In
addition, since this has been called to my attention, I now feel it
necessary to include this disclaimer with each message. As owner of this
list, I have nothing to do with the ads and links that Yahoogroups sends
out with the Hymn of the Day posts nor do I have any control over them. I
do not necessarily approve of them and I do not always endorse those who
have placed them with Yahoogroups.
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