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, August 4, 2013

BLESSED REDEEMER


As I have been reading about the history of various hymns I have found that one of two situations generally happens.  The first is that somebody writes a poem and then later somebody puts it to music.  The second is that often both the writing of the poem and the music are done by the same person at the same time.  But rarely is the music written first and then later somebody writes the words. But this is what happened In the hymn "Blessed Redeemer". Harry Dixon Loes (1892-1965), a music student in Chicago, was so inspired by a sermon he heard entitled "Blessed Redeemer" that he wrote a melody he thought would be appropriate for a hymn of the same name. Loes then sent his tune to his friend Avis Christiansen (1895-1985), who composed the text for "Blessed Redeemer."  Avis was encouraged by her godly grandmother and she wrote her first poem at the age of ten.  Then one Sunday morning in Moody Church she listened to a new song by Harry Loes and the Lord reminded her of the talent that he had entrusted to her. She immediately was led to write poetry that would soon be turned into hymns.  In 1917 she was married to Ernest Christiansen who later became vice president in charge of investments for Moody Bible Institute.  But in spite of a very busy schedule she continued to write with zeal producing more hymns and two books of poetry.  In the forward of one of these books the legendary pastor and author H.A.Ironside wrote: "Avis B. Christiansen is the gifted author of many of our sweetest gospel songs. By means of these her name is known around the world ... With a very keen apprehension of spiritual realities, and a clear understanding of the great truths revealed in the Word of God, her hymns and poems are eminently Scriptural and soul-uplifting".  This old hymn has always been one of my favorites.  My wife and I quite often sang this as a duet because of its powerful message.  It reminds us of the great sacrifice at Calvary and that Christ did this for me.  And I especially love the testimony of the final verse, "O how I love Him, Savior and Friend, How can my praises ever find end! Through years unnumbered on Heaven's shore, My tongue shall praise Him forevermore."  What a joy to look forward to that great day.  Rejoice with me in the truth of these words this week.

(1)    Up Calvary's mountain, one dreadful morn,
Walked Christ my Savior, weary and worn;
Facing for sinners death on the cross,
That He might save them from endless loss.
Blessed Redeemer! Precious Redeemer!
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree;
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading,
Blind and unheeding — dying for me!

(2)   "Father forgive them!" thus did He pray,
E'en while His lifeblood flowed fast away;
Praying for sinners while in such woe
No one but Jesus ever loved so.
Blessed Redeemer! Precious Redeemer!
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree;
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading,
Blind and unheeding — dying for me!

(3)   O how I love Him, Savior and Friend,
How can my praises ever find end!
Through years unnumbered on Heaven's shore,
My tongue shall praise Him forevermore.
Blessed Redeemer! Precious Redeemer!
Seems now I see Him on Calvary's tree;
Wounded and bleeding, for sinners pleading,
Blind and unheeding — dying for me!

I have had trouble finding a video with the original tune, but here it is sung by the White Sisters.    LISTEN
Recently the words have been revived and put to a different tune by the group Casting Crowns.   Here is their version which has become popular today.     NEW TUNE.

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