Welcome!  Hymns have been and continue to be a real source of inspiration to me.  My desire in this blog is to share special hymns with my readers hoping that the words will minister to them, especially in times of great personal need.  If one of these hymns ministers to you, please take time to leave a comment so that I know that my blog is helping others as much as it helps me. Sometimes I will also provide a link where you can go to hear the hymn played.  So, please join me here each week and sing along as we praise God together.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

JESUS I COME

Recently, during our morning walk at the local shopping center, my wife and I both heard a familiar melody being played throughout the mall. We were shocked to recognize it as the melody for this week's hymn. We assume that it must have secular words or it wouldn't be played there. If you know what the words might be, please contact us. I remember the hymn mostly as one that was sung during altar calls back in the days when such invitations were part of most church services. I searched and found very little information about the author, William T. Sleeper who wrote the words in 1887. He apparently was a home missionary and served over 30 years at a Congregational Church in Massachusetts. He also wrote the words to "Ye Must Be Born Again". However, there is interesting information available about the writer of the music, George C. Stebbins. At the age of 23, he moved to Chicago where he worked in churches and became acquainted with some of the greats of gospel music, such as Sankey and Bliss. In the late 1870's D. L. Moody got hold of him, sending him into a lifetime of music evangelism. Stebbins first met Moody while he was preaching at a village church in Massachusetts. Moody asked him to lead the singing and Stebbins, a bit nervous, sat at the little organ in front of the pulpit. As he played and led the congregation he was bothered by a terrible wheezing noise. He described it as "a discordant sound". At first he was sure it was the organ and he tried to figure out which keys weren't working properly. Finally he realized that it wasn't the organ, it was the voice of Moody singing. He said "I heard the voice of Mr. Moody singing away as heartily as you please, with no more idea of tune or time than a child." I guess he could preach, but just couldn't sing. Stebbins went on to work alongside Moody for years, composing many favorite hymn tunes and invitational hymns. As I said previously, such hymns are seldom sung today in churches where invitations and altar calls tend to be past history. But the words still serve as an invitation for folks to come to the cross. And for believers, the words should remind us of where we came from - bondage, sorrow, night, and dread of the tomb. Praise the Lord for His sheltering fold which is open to all who come. As we approach the Easter season, meditate on the words of this week's hymn.

(1) Out of my bondage, sorrow, and night,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy freedom, gladness, and light,
Jesus, I come to Thee;
Out of my sickness, into Thy health,
Out of my want and into Thy wealth,
Out of my sin and into Thyself,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

(2) Out of my shameful failure and loss,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the glorious gain of Thy cross,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of earth's sorrows into Thy balm,
Out of life's storms and into Thy calm,
Out of distress to jubilant psalm,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

(3) Out of unrest and arrogant pride,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into Thy blessed will to abide,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of myself to dwell in Thy love,
Out of despair into raptures above,
Upward for aye on wings like a dove,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

(4) Out of the fear and dread of the tomb,
Jesus, I come, Jesus, I come;
Into the joy and light of Thy throne,
Jesus, I come to Thee.
Out of the depths of ruin untold,
Into the peace of Thy sheltering fold,
Ever Thy glorious face to behold,
Jesus, I come to Thee.

Listen to the words and music here. LISTEN