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Wednesday, March 17, 2010

My Song In The Night

What are your favorite folk hymns? I was delighted that the new Lutheran Service Book includes several. Notable are the following examples:

  • 456 - Were You There - author unknown
  • 543 - What Wondrous Love Is this - author unknown
  • 686 - Come, Thou Fount of Every Blessing by Robert Robinson
  • 711 - Savior, like a Shepherd Lead Us - author unknown
  • 728 - How Firm a Foundation - author unknown
  • 744 - Amazing Grace by John Newton
There are others we love, I'm sure, that are not in LSB, that you love and sing to yourself. When leading worship I've always tried to chose hymns  based upon three principles:

  1. Does the hymn reflect correct Biblical teaching? 
  2. Can we sing it? 
  3. And can we remember it?
So many times we've been in worship services where the tune is unfamiliar and the words strange. Many of us cannot read music and are not trained musicians, but we love to sing. Put us in that position and we sit there with a blank stare or even close the book. "What's the use?" we mutter.

How sad.

In reflecting upon Asaph's Psalm 77 today I came across his troubled plea, "Let me remember my song in the night" (Psalm 77:6). As he wrote, Asaph's life seemed to be nothing but night, gloom and trouble. God seemed deaf to his cries. His hand was weary, his soul discomforted. Unable to sleep he finally pleaded, "Let me remember my song in the night."

In that sense, I realize how critical it is to be able to remember and sing to yourself the strong and comforting hymns of corporate worship. Their message and the music that carries them are so important in those dark, dark nights in our lives. Asaph's prayer is not unfamiliar to many of us.

I went searching for a folk song, based upon Asaph's cry in the night. Here's one I found. Perhaps you will want to add it to your repertoire of songs to remember when those dark nights come. Listen to the link, a choral version. It speaks of affliction, deserts and night. Yet in the midst of those dark nights I can call to Jesus, my soul's delight and be comforted. Jesus is my Savior, my song in the night.    


MY SONG IN THE NIGHT
Southern Folk Hymn

O Jesus my Savior, my song in the night,
Come to us with Thy tender love,
my soul’s delight.
Unto Thee, O Lord, in affliction I call,
My comfort by day, and my song in the night.

O why should I wander, an alien from Thee,
Or cry in the desert Thy face to see?
My comfort and joy, my soul’s delight,
O Jesus my Savior, my song in the night.

My song in the night, my song in the night,
in the night, in the night, in the night.

O Jesus my Savior, my song in the night.
Come to us with Thy tender love,
my soul’s delight.
My comfort and joy, my soul’s delight,
O Jesus my Savior, my song in the night.

My song my song in the night,
in the night, my song
My comfort and joy, my soul’s delight.
O Jesus my savior, my song in the night,
in the night. My song in the night.