This is one of my favorite hymns. I love the lyrics and the meaning but it also brings back fond childhood memories. As a young child we often sang this as a hymn of invitation at the end of services, inviting those who had not yet accepted Christ to come forward, accept him and be baptized. As a young child we had on minister with whom our family was very close to his family. I remember it as the hymn we sang on the last night he was at our church prior to moving to a different congregation. As a side note, he was the pastor that later performed my wedding ceremony.
I often find myself singing this song in my head as I go throughout the day. It is also one of my go-to songs for singing when I’m trying to get the baby to sleep. I have always seen it as an encouragement to keep the faith, but I never knew the back story until I began researching the hymn for this post. It was ‘written’ by a man in India who was facing martyrdom. It is said that he spontaneously composed and sang the verses even as he watched his family being killed for their faith. This part of the history is sad but what happened next is an amazing display of God’s power and goodness. The very people who killed him for his faith realized that they wanted what he had and came to know Jesus. Because of his death an entire village was saved for all of eternity.
My children can probably already sing all of the words to this hymn because they have heard it so many times, but I look forward to really looking at the meaning behind the words and using the copy work to help internalize them. I have included links to several different versions of this song that you can listen to as you learn this hymn as well as the link to the story behind the hymn and sheet music if you have a student that plays a musical instrument. I hope you enjoy this song as much as we enjoy it.
Hymn Study Resources:
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