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, January 15, 2017

SEND THE LIGHT



        Charles H. Gabriel (1856-1931) grew up on a farm in Iowa and experienced all the hard work that is part of that life.  He taught himself to play the family's reed organ as a teenager. At age seventeen he left home and began organizing singing schools.  He became well known for his playing and composing and traveled around the country, finally moving to San Francisco   He had a great love for Sunday schools, and although he was writing hymns, he also wrote many, many songs for the Sunday School Department. He published 24 books of music for both the Sunday school classes and the evangelistic ministry. These songs were used in many great revivals.  Mr. Gabriel considered his first successful sacred song to be "Send The Light." This hymn, written in 1890, is considered to be one of the best missionary hymns ever written.  It was written while he was serving as music director of Grace Methodist Episcopal Church, in San Francisco, CA.  There the Sunday School superintendent asked him for a missionary hymn for Easter Sunday to highlight the Golden Offering, their special missionary offering.  In response Gabriel wrote this song. A visiting missionary heard it and loved it so much that he carried it back east with him.  As a result, the hymn became immediately popular. Growing up I remember that this hymn was sung at almost every missionary conference that I attended.  In 1912, Gabriel moved to Chicago, IL and began working with Homer Rodeheaver's publishing company. From then on he supported himself writing hymns.  He is known to have written over 7,000 hymns and 38 Christmas cantatas.  The words of "Send the Light" remind us that as Christians we live in a world of sinners, "among whom you shine as lights in the world, holding fast the word of life" (Phil. 2:15-16).  And we are told to  "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matt. 5:16).  And in the first verse of his song Gabriel reminds us that "there are souls to rescue, there are souls to save."   And we need to send the light to those living in this dark world.   In the second verse Gabriel talks about hearing the Macedonian call.  Acts 16:9-10 explains that term.  "A vision appeared to Paul in the night. A man of Macedonia stood and pleaded with him, saying, 'Come over to Macedonia and help us.' Now after he had seen the vision, immediately we sought to go to Macedonia, concluding that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel to them".  And we, too, are called to spread the light of the gospel.  Mark 16:15 commands us to   "Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature".   And part of this command is also to also support other servants of Christ who are doing this through our prayers, and by our gifts, our "golden offerings", which extend the light of the gospel to other places where, perhaps, we are unable to go.  So are we busy sending the light?  Are we active in praying, giving and going?  The last verse reminds us not to grow weary in doing this.  There are so many in our neighborhoods, in our places of employment, in our country and around the world who need the light and message of the gospel.  Let us be serious and about the work of sending the light.

1.     There's a call comes ringing o'er the restless wave,
"Send the light! Send the light!"
There are souls to rescue, there are souls to save,
Send the light! Send the light!
Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light, and let its radiant beams
Light the world forevermore!

2.     We have heard the Macedonian call today,
"Send the light! Send the light!"
And a golden off'ring at the cross we lay,
Send the light! Send the light!
Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light, and let its radiant beams
Light the world forevermore!

3.     Let us pray that grace may everywhere abound,
"Send the light! Send the light!"
And a Christlike spirit everywhere be found,
Send the light! Send the light!
Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light, and let its radiant beams
Light the world forevermore!

4.     Let us not grow weary in the work of love,
"Send the light! Send the light!"
Let us gather jewels for a crown above,
Send the light! Send the light!
Send the light, the blessed Gospel light;
Let it shine from shore to shore!
Send the light, and let its radiant beams
Light the world forevermore!

Listen to it here.   LISTEN

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