THE PURPOSE OF THIS BLOG

I am the song leader in my church. I am not very proficient as a musician or a choral director. I pray that, someday soon, God will send someone more capable, to take this ministry from me. But for the time being it is my responsibility to select the music and lead the congregation in the singing every week.

I take that responsibility seriously. The hymns and songs that I select must be doctrinally sound, they must be appropriate for worship with a God-centered worldview, and, withing those parameters, I try to select music that will reinforce and, support the text and subject of my pastor’s messages.

Some of us have been singing the hymns for years; the words roll off our lips but the messages often don't engage our minds or penetrate our hearts. With the apostle Paul, I want the congregation to "sing with understanding."

So for the past couple years, it has been my practice to select one hymn each week, research it, and then highlight it with a short introductory commentary so that the congregation will be more informed regarding the origin, the author's testimony, or the doctrinal significance of the hymns we sing.

It is my intention here with this blog, to archive these hymn commentaries for my reference and to make them freely available to other church song leaders. For ease of reference, all the hymn commentaries in this blog will be titled IN ALL CAPITAL LETTERS. Other posts (which will be music ministry related opinion pieces) will be printed in lower case letters.

I know that some of the comments contain traces of my unique style, but please feel free to adapt them and use the content any way you can for the edification of your congregation and to the glory of God.

All I ask is that you leave a little comment should you find something helpful.


Ralph M. Petersen

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Saturday, April 9, 2016

*MAY THE MIND OF CHRIST, MY SAVIOR

Philippians 2:5 says, "Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus."


May the Mind of Christ My Savior, was written by Kate B. Wilkinson as a result of her meditating on that verse.  She thought about what it meant to have the mind of Christ. To have the mind of Christ is to think His thoughts; to keep His commands; to do His will; to submit to Him.
 

In the words of her song, it is “to have Christ with His love ‘controlling all I do and say.’”  She also alluded to Hebrews12:1-2 in her hymn: "May I run the race before me…looking unto Jesus."
 

The song is a prayer that asks God to help us add to our lives, various aspects of the will of Christ.  It was first published in the London children’s hymnbook, Golden Bells, in 1925.
 

The six stanzas of the hymn were originally intended for daily devotional reminders; one for each day of the week leading up to Sunday.


May the mind of Christ, my Savior,
Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling
All I do and 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
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.

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