lyrics for living 13 (a fab four)

From my childhood the words of Jesus remain with me. They come from the very first chapter of his ministry. The words of the older translations still roll easily off the tongue.

"Come, follow me, and I will make you fishers of men."

And yet last week, on the lips of my Nigerian colleague (Femi) as we sat together in meetings in Indonesia, these words hit me with fresh power. My imagination, as it tends to do, drifted off into sermon-making. The sermon took shape quickly.

Come and the word of invitation. Follow and the call to discipleship. Make and the promise of formation. Fishers and the assurance of vocation. Soon I found myself lost in worship, wanting to reach for some much-loved hymns ... and so that is what I did.

Come - and the word of invitation? 
Here is a simple hymn that has been transformative for me:
O My Saviour, lifted from the earth for me,
Draw me, in Thy mercy, nearer unto thee.
Lift my earth-bound longings; fix them, Lord, above;
Draw me with the magnet of Thy mighty love.
Lord, Thine arms are stretching ever far and wide,
To enfold Thy children to Thy loving side.
And I come, Lord Jesus; dare I turn away?
No! Thy love hath conquered, and I come today.
Bringing all my burdens, sorrow, sin, and care;
At Thy feet I lay them, and I leave them there.
What about that image embedded in these words? the drawing magnet  
I can still hear my father speaking those last two lines, urging me to follow its advice.
Singalong here [sadly, the best is some vigorous organ music - not a big fan, I confess].

Follow - and the call to discipleship?
Here is a simple hymn that has been transformative for me:
Make me a captive, Lord, and then I shall be free;
Force me to render up my sword, and I shall conqueror be.
I sink in life's alarms when by myself I stand;
Imprison me within Thine arms and strong shall be my hand.
My heart is weak and poor until it's master find;
It has no spring of action sure, it varies with the wind.
It cannot freely move till Thou hast wrought its chain;
Enslave it with Thy matchless love and deathless it shall reign.
My will is not my own till Thou hast made it Thine;
If it would reach a monarch's throne it must its crown resign.
It only stands unbent amidst the clashing strife;
When on Thy bosom it has leant and found in Thee its life.
What about that image embedded in these words? the imprisoning arms
I reckon the opening line is the most subversively profound line in the entire hymnbook.
Singalong below [this is much better, with skilled and young voices at work].

Make - and the promise of formation?
Here is a simple hymn that has been transformative for me:
May the mind of Christ my Saviour live in me from day to day;
By His love and power controlling all I do or say.
May the word of God dwell richly in my heart from hour to hour;
So that all may see I triumph only through His power.
May the peace of God my Father rule my life in everything;
That I may be calm to comfort (the) sick and sorrowing.
May the love of Jesus fill me as the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing, this is victory.
May I run the race before me, strong and brave to face the foe;
Looking only unto Jesus as I onward go.
May His beauty rest upon me as I seek the lost to win;
And may they forget the channel, seeing only Him.
What about that image embedded in these words? the filling waters
This is exactly how formation happens. Christ in us ... and us in Christ. Abiding. United.
Singalong below [better still - something attractive about the unadorned simplicity here].

Fishers - and the assurance of vocation?
Here is a simple hymn that has been transformative for me:
Lord, in the fulness of my might I would for Thee be strong;
Make Thy glad service my delight, Thy glory all my song.
I would not give the world my heart and then profess Thy love;                                                                                                I would not see my strength depart and then Thy service prove.
I would not with swift-winged zeal on this world's errands go;
And labour up the heavenly hill with weary feet and slow.
O not for Thee my weak desires, my poorer, baser part;
O not for Thee my fading fires, the ashes of my heart!
O grant me in my golden time, a zealous servant's part;
For Thee the glory of my prime, the fulness of my heart!
I cannot, Lord, too early take the covenant divine;
O ne'er the happy heart may break whose foremost love was Thine.
What about that image embedded in these words? the fading ashes
Love the passion. It has always been a favourite of mine ... and much more recently, here.
Singalong here [such an unfamiliar hymn...].

nice chatting



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