Friday, February 22, 2013

Blest be the tie that binds


This Lent, again, but rather belatedly, I have decided to give up on Facebook. Yes, I'm fasting from Wastebook (my tongue-in-cheek name coined last Lenten season); I won't be logging in or posting. After prayer, thought, and consultation, I accepted an invitation to serve on a team at Los Ranchos Presbytery, and have been prayerfully considering disciplines to add. Well, one discipline is going to be to learn to play the beautiful hymn that Marilyn shared during our Wednesday prayer meeting: Blest be the tie that bindsI was delighted to find this song in the Presbyterian hymnal. It describes our God-given, Spirit-led, and Christ-filled friendships. Thank you, dear Jesus, for my spiritual family and friends
1. Blest be the tie that binds Our hearts in Christian love; The fellowship of kindred minds Is like to that above. 2. Before our Father's throne We pour our ardent prayers; Our fears, our hopes, our aims, are one, Our comforts and our cares. 3. We share our mutual woes, Our mutual burdens bear; And often for each other flows The sympathizing tear. 4. When we asunder part, It gives us inward pain; But we shall still be joined in heart, And hope to meet again.

The story behind the song's creation is inspiring me as well. John Fawcett, an English pastor, wrote a poem titled "Brotherly Love" about the value of Christian fellowship, and used it to close his sermon based on Luke 12:15, A man's life consists not in the abundance of things he possesses. He and his wife Mary had discovered that they could not break the bond of love they shared with the poor parishioners they served by leaving them to take up another call at a far more affluent church. For the rest of their life they served in their original call even though they never made more than $200. We could bemoan, if only more  pastors today were like this, or we can rejoice that we enjoy treasure beyond measure in the many spiritual friendships made through our local church connections! Fawcett, who went on to become a renowned preacher and scholar, also wrote An Essay on Anger. I'm adding this book and a couple of others (The Essentials of Prayer by E.M. Bounds and The Pilgrim Church and Other Sermons by Percy Ainsworth) to my Lenten reading list.

References
The lyrics, MIDI music, and history of John Fawcett's hymn is available from Scripture and Music.

The table of contents and preview of John Fawcett's An Essay on Anger is available from Google Books.

2 comments:

  1. We love this hymn, and thank God it now binds you with us!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Love you too, Ann and praise God. Anita

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for taking the time to encourage me with your feedback. Blessings.