Saturday, June 14, 2008

Then Sings My Soul Saturdays

Choosing today's song was a no-brainer. Yesterday I had the joy of meeting a sweet blog sister in person. Xandra is as darling in real life as she is on her blog! Kindred spirits in our love for the music of the faith, for good Southern cooking from scratch, for reading and more --- but most of all, for the One we serve --- I felt right at home from the moment I arrived.

(Once I convinced her I wasn't an ax murderer, that is! I didn't tell her that years ago I received a Lizzie Borden award. . . .)

There is nothing on earth as sweet as the ties that bind fellow believers. Our spirits recognize one another and bond in a way that is beyond the understanding of those who don't have that connection. Nowhere has this been more evident to me than in the world of blogging, as I have been blessed by so many sweet gals with whom I share this common bond.

This song has had a special meaning for me through many years. During my Junior English class in high school, when a good friend from my church youth group was in my class, we read Our Town by Thorton Wilder. This song is featured in Act 1, and it became a special connection between us, as well as with our teacher, who was also a Christian. I still keep in touch with that dear teacher today, as well as with my long-time friend.

The story behind the writing of this hymn is touching:

At the age of 26, John Fawcett and his new bride, Mary, began their ministry at an impoverished Baptist church in Wainsgate, England. After 7 years of devoted service in meager circumstances, they received a call to the large and influential Carter's Lane Baptist Church in London. After the wagons were loaded for the move, the Fawcetts met their tearful parishoners for a final farewell. "John, I cannot bear to leave. I know not how to go!" "Nor can I either," said the saddened pastor. "We shall remain here with our people." The order was given to unload the wagons.

The following Sunday, John Fawcett preached from Luke 12:15: "A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions." He closed his sermon by reading his new poem, "Brotherly Love" (which we know today as Blest Be the Tie That Binds).

John and Mary Fawcett carried on their faithful ministry in the little village of Wainsgate for a total of fifty-four years. Their salary was estimated to be never more than the equivalent of $200 a year, despite Fawcett's growing reputation as an outstanding evangelical preacher, scholar, and writer. . . .It is reported that the monarch King George III promised Pastor Fawcett any benefit that could be conferred. But the offer was declined with this statement: "I have lived among my own people, enjoying their love; God has blessed my labors among them, and I need nothing which even a king could supply."

Source: Amazing Grace: 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotion by Kenneth W. Osbeck, 2002


Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love;
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.

Before our Father’s throne
We pour our ardent prayers;
Our fears, our hopes, our aims are one
Our comforts and our cares.

We share each other’s woes,
Our mutual burdens bear;
And often for each other flows
The sympathizing tear.

When we asunder part,
It gives us inward pain;
But we shall still be joined in heart,
And hope to meet again.

This glorious hope revives
Our courage by the way;
While each in expectation lives,
And longs to see the day.

From sorrow, toil and pain,
And sin, we shall be free,
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.

WORDS: John Fawcett, 1782
MUSIC: Hans G. Nageli

Be sure to visit Amy for more Then Sings My Soul Saturdays!


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Lisa said...

I love this song. It takes me back to when we would sing this song after a very moving service at church.

Cheryl said...


They don't sing these older hymms at church as often anymore. It always reminds me of when I was younger and singing these growing up.

Thanks for sharing!

Anonymous said...

I never knew this story. Thanks so much for sharing it! It is so cool how the background of a song changes it so much.

lana said...

Oh the memories this brings flooding back to my mind. Thanks for sharing.... your sister in Christ...

Xandra said...

This is a song that brings back so many memories for me! Such an apt choice in light of your visit yesterday. I told Trevor after you left that I wished we lived a little closer, because I think that we would spend alot of time together and that our husbands would be come friends as well.

The ties that bind us as Christian sisters can never be broken...distance, life or death cannot sever them. I'm so glad I found you!


ocean mommy said...

Those words are so tender. They really do speak to my heart!


Melanie said...

This has always been a hymn with great meaning to me. I'm so glad this is the one you chose to share with us today!

Have a great weekend!

SharonB said...

Thank you for sharing this hymn and the story behind it. I love to know the stories behind some of these great songs.

Laurie Ann said...

I love this song. It brought back so many memories of times of prayer at church we'd reach across the aisle and hold hands then sing that song after the prayer - takes me back to my youth. I never knew the story behind the hymn, and I appreciate your sharing that with us.

Susan said...

Oh my...what a beautiful song and the story behind is so deeping touching!

Thanks for sharing this with us today.

I'm also so blessed by your story of you meeting a blogging sister in Christ. How wonderful!!

God is so good. Thank God for the Body of Christ.


Peggy said...

Sorry Linda..I drifted away to the read Rain, rain go away and praying you were not being affected...Isn't it just overwhelming?I will still pray though thank God, you and your friend are above on dry land!

Aww..I'm always so blessed by these dear old hymns and how you share the background blesses me even more! That was a good correlation with the ties that bind us as believers in blogging world and with Xandra! How wonderful for you both! Thank you for sharing and also for the encouragng words at my blog! Be blessed...through all eternity!

Maisie said...

There is a tie that binds us Christian women here through the Internet. Blogging has provided the Christian fellowship that I have really needed this year. I've been unable to go to church much this year and have missed being around other Christians. So blogging with Christians has been such a blessing to me. Yes - a blessing. Last year, I had no idea what blogging was and how God would use it to help me grow spiritually and closer to Him and to other Christian women.

Becoming Me said...

Certainly a fitting song. I am so glad you got to meet a bloggy sister in person. How precious