Friday, February 5, 2016

Two Hymns

186. Hymn for the Despised and Rejected
Here is another hymn that I planned to submit to one my hymn-composing friends for a brand-new, original tune. I had Isaiah 53 open before me as I wrote it. The designation "despised and rejected" describes three parties in this poem: first, Christ Himself; second, the faithful; and third, those whom Christ bids His church to serve in love. And yes, I know I got the rhyme scheme flipped around in stanza 3. I consciously decided to do that, partly out of necessity and partly because I thought it might be a clever way to signify the exchange aspect of the gospel. EDIT: The first of four fellow hymn-tune composers to fulfill his commission, the Rev. Robert Mayes sent me the tune AFFLICTION for this hymn. I like it!
To Christ, by men rejected,
Well-versed in scorn and grief,
For discipline elected
By blows without relief,
The prayer of the afflicted
Be now and e’er directed:
Let mercy be perfected,
And strengthen our belief!

Behold, what rage surprising
Meets them who trust You so:
The devil’s foul devising,
The world’s allure and woe,
False brothers’ ill advising,
Men’s lies, kings’ terrorizing,
Our very flesh comprising
An arch and bitter foe!

You, Lord, were not exempted,
But through all sorrows went,
Like us in all things tempted
And for that purpose sent.
God’s justice thereby vented,
Your sacrifice has scented
Our way of woe; contented,
We bear the world’s contempt.

And so in You believing,
In whom we find God’s grace,
Help us to walk, receiving
The outcast of our race;
To gather in the grieving,
The need of all relieving,
Our beggarhood perceiving
Before Your holy face!

187. Timothy Hymn: For Faithful Youth
This is one of those hymns from the "Heroes of the Faith" section of my hymn-book, but unlike some of the others, it doesn't recite the deeds of the biblical character. It simply uses him as an illustration of the concept of faithful youth, which should be a major theme in the church's prayer in every generation, not only because we want our kids to be saved but also because the next generation will need faithful leaders of its own. The women named in stanza 3 are Timothy's grandmother and mother, held up by Paul in 2 Timothy 1 as witnesses of the sincere faith in which Timothy, his spiritual son, was brought up from childhood. Again, although I have written a tune that will fit these lyrics, I do not want to re-use it for what would be the third time; so I am floating it among my hymn-composing brethren (and sistren) to see what original tunes they can cook up. EDIT: Here is Joeline Mayes' original tune for this hymn, titled YOUTH. Thanks, Mrs. Mayes!
Hold fast, younger sisters, brothers,
To the true faith you received
Through your godly fathers, mothers,
Who passed on what they believed
And for you with tears have prayed!
Your salvation’s price is paid;
On a Rock unlike all others
Is your faith’s foundation laid!

Even if your way seem humble,
Other ways more smooth and broad,
And your footsteps sway or stumble,
Lean on Christ, the Word of God!
For God’s power, joy and light
Are of faith and not of sight;
While earth’s edifices crumble,
His forgiveness sets you right.

Though your Lois, Paul, or Eunice
May be long in years, or sleep,
They yet share the wondrous newness
Of God’s mercies broad and deep.
For the gospel dares to say
Christ took sin and death away;
Now we count with pressing fewness
Days remaining till His Day.

Lord, we therefore pray, send latter
Timothies, such faithful youth,
Whose late vintage will not matter,
Only that they know the truth!
Form them for your church’s need,
Future youth in You to lead,
Gathering where others scatter,
On sound words Your lambs to feed!

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