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The center of the Traditional Anglican Communion; adhering to the Holy Bible (KJV) in all matters of Faith and Doctrine, a strict reliance on the Thirty Nine Articles of Religion, The two Sacraments of Baptism and Holy Communion, the Two Creeds, and the Homilies and formularies of the Reformation Church of England.

Verse of the Day

Sunday, November 29, 2015

Sermon Notes - First Sunday in Advent - Saint Andrews Anglican Church - Enterprise, Alabama - 29 November 2015, Anno Domini


If you enjoy this, the entire AOC Sunday Report is RIGHT HERE!

The First Sunday in Advent
The Collect.

A
LMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious majesty to judge both the quick and the dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

¶ This Collect is to be repeated every day, after the other Collects in Advent, until Christmas Day.

T
hen shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them: But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you: but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the doorwas shut. Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. (Matthew 25:1-13)

            Advent heralds a great COMING of Christ - both as a baby at Bethlehem, and as King of Kings returning at His second Advent to receive the saints and to judge the world. But ADVENT also symbolizes another type of COMING - the coming of believers to Christ and to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb of God.

            As with all of the Parables of Christ, I love this one. The Words of Christ are full of life! Each time I read the Gospels, and especially the Parables, a new and meaningful insight presents itself as it does with all Scripture. Once, again, the central theme here is of a marriage supper – an event extremely important in imparting the importance God attaches to the estate of matrimony as well as to His Church as the Bride of Christ. Only the closest of friends and family are invited to participate in Marriage suppers.

            We observe in today’s text two different kinds of character and two different outcomes that ensue from each.

            This is a Parable of the Kingdom of Heaven. It is a picture, if you will, of the existence in the Church of those who are burning and sincere followers of Christ, and those who are only nominal Christians who make no preparation or study to be accepted of God. These are the two different kinds of hearts that are depicted. The lamps represent those hearts and the oil, the grace and love. The virgins represent the purity of doctrine and faith in the church. The Bridegroom, of course, is Christ. It is true that all of the oil in the world will not benefit us unless we have used it to fuel the FIRE of our Light. There is a subtle reference also to two doors – an open door, and a shut door.

            Then shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins, which took their lamps, and went forth to meet the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five were foolish. So far, we have ten virgins whose appearance seem very similar, but those qualities not seen – such as wisdom and fool-heartedness – do not appear by simple observation.  Perhaps more than 50% (and most certainly so) of all professing Christian fall into the latter category of being foolish. But they all subscribe to the same faith and truth of the Gospel. They appear righteous. They are good moral people for they are virgins. The church is comprised of both wheat and tares. The tares APPEAR to be wheat. They grow where the wheat grows. In every way, the tares look like wheat in texture, in color, and in size. So many Christians may have an intellectual assent of Christ, but they lack the oil and fire of true faith. They look like Christians. They talk like Christians. They attend church every Sunday. But they are lacking the testimony, love, faith, and grace of a true follower of Christ. The only Bible they know is that read by the minister or Lay Reader. They have hearts, but nothing to fuel the fire of faith in those hearts. Both the true Christians and professing Christians go forth to meet the Bridegroom. But five have a problem.

            They that were foolish took their lamps, and took no oil with them. Can you receive Christ in your heart but not love? These foolish virgins (professing Christians) took their hearts to Christ, but they did not allow Christ to enter those hearts. The oil that could have been purchased by Bible study and faithful service is lacking. Those who seem to strictly keep the commandments are often those whose hearts are the most devoid of love.

            But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. The wise virgins had made preparation for this expected moment. They had purchased oil and carried it in vessels to take with their lamps. We cannot follow Christ in darkness. These wise virgins were not at all casual in their faith, but earnest and sober.

            While the bridegroom tarried, they all slumbered and slept. Note that all ten virgins slumbered and slept while the Bridegroom tarried. Those of mild conviction slept alongside those who took their faith seriously. We all need sleep. Because of their lack of real faith, the foolish virgins were able to sleep not expecting the Bridegroom. The wise virgins, because they DID have faith, slept in peace because they had peace in their hearts toward God.

            And at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him. The custom in Israel was for a man to seek a bride for his son. When a suitable bride was found, a meeting would be arranged for the young man and young woman to meet. They would meet at the home, and with the girl and her parents, of the young lady. There would be a cup of wine prepared on a table around which the company gathered. The boy and girl would chat a bit. After a while, if the boy found the girl acceptable to his liking, he would drink from the cup. The girl, if she found the prospective bridegroom acceptable, would drink from that same cup! That exchange of sups from the cup formally signified the betrothal of the couple. The son would then go to his father’s place and build a residence for his bride under supervision of the father. This may consume a period of one, two, or more years. When the father believed the provision constructed for the bride was acceptable, he would send the son to fetch the bride.

            The bridegroom would send his groomsmen to fetch the girl. The hour was usually irregular for the sake of surprise, and most often at, or after, midnight. One of the groomsmen would sound a trumpet near the girl’s home. This was the signal the bridegroom had sent for her. She and her bridesmaids would need to grab whatever bags and provisions desired and rush out to meet the bridegroom. How like that is the manner in which Christ will return for His Bride! Behold, I shew you a mystery; We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. (1 Cor 15:51-52)

            The point here is that the true worshippers must be ready at all times to go with Him. There will be no time to set our affairs in order once the trumpet sounds.

            Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps. See how similar are the actions of both groups of virgins! They BOTH arose, and they BOTH trimmed their lamps – the foolish virgins were going through the motions still of being prepared, but they were NOT!

            And the foolish said unto the wise, Give us of your oil; for our lamps are gone out. Those who are lazy and slovenly will always beg to enjoy the fruits of preparation of others. But in actuality, the wise virgins could not share their oil. There was only enough for themselves. That is true of faith. The faith of the most faithful mother in the world cannot be granted to a son to save him. We must all come to Christ by grace through that faith! But the wise answered, saying, Not so; lest there be not enough for us and you. The wise will always ensure that their faith is sufficient to receive sufficient grace.

            …but go ye rather to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Buy the word and sell it not! Ho, every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters, and he that hath no money; come ye, buy, and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price. (Isaiah 55:1) The wise virgins knew that it would be too late to purchase the oil and still meet the bridegroom, but they answer courteously and out of sympathy. If they did share, they knew that the oil would run out and both would be lost.

            And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage. Only those who are ready will go with Christ when He comes. It will be then too late to study, to nurture faith, to love more, and to trust God. These wise virgins went into the marriage through and open door. That door will open for those who are worthy through the imputed merits of Christ. …..and the door was shut! The door was open for those who were prepared and ready, but shut immediately behind them.

            Now we come to the SHUT DOOR! Afterward came also the other virgins, saying, Lord, Lord, open to us. How seemingly tragic that many Christians will sit in church week after week and appear real and true Christians. The church door ahs always been open to them but, now, the door is shut in their faces at the end. They have put up a good front. They have worshipped God with their lips, but their hearts are far from Him. Who shut the door? Was it the wise virgins? No, it was not. It was God who shut the door. Man has not the authority to shut the door of salvation on any man, but only God. Remember Noah and the Ark God commanded him to build. When the time was come, the Lord commanded Noah, not to GO into the Ark, but to COME into the Ark. Do you notice the important difference. Where God is, that is the place of safety. Where the bridegroom is, that is the place of blessing. And the LORD said unto Noah, Come thou and all thy house into the ark; for thee have I seen righteous before me in this generation. (Gen 7:1) So Noah went into the place of safety – the Ark. Then, after Noah entered the Ark, what happened? Did Noah shut the door of the Ark? No, man has no authority to close the doors of mercy on mankind – that is the prerogative of the Lord. ….and the LORD shut him in. (Gen 7:16b)

            But he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. If we do not take the effort to know Christ very well as intimate friend, Savior, Redeemer, and Sovereign, he will not know us either. For friends to be close, each party must know the other intimately. How tragic will it be to hear those words from the mouth of Christ!

            Watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of man cometh. There are a lot of pseudo-prophets today attempting to determine the exact day and time of Christ’s return. Why is it so important to them? Perhaps it is the money they make in selling books with such sensational predictions. But, perhaps a more important reason is that they do not desire to serve God  We presently. They prefer to hedge their bets and live according to the lust of their flesh for now, and then, as their presumed day arrives for Christ’s return, they will clean up their act, so to speak. It is the will and intent of God that we know not the hour or day of His return. We are to watch and pray our lives each day as if that were the day of His Coming.

I like what Horatius Bonar, an old-time minister and hymn writer of the Free Church of Scotland, says about this Parable:

           “THE oil is the Holy Spirit. Oil he is likened throughout all Scripture, though in some places to fire and water, to wind or air. But it is as the light-giving oil that he is specially spoken of here; and the lack of him, as such, makes the difference between the foolish and the wise ; having not the spirit. (Jude, verse 19.) Thus a man may be very like a Christian, and yet not be one. He may come very near the kingdom, and yet not enter it. He may have all the outward features of a Christian, and be lacking the main one. He may have the complete dress of a saint, and yet not be one. He may have a good life, a sound creed, a strict profession; he may be one who says and does many things excellent; he may be a subscriber to all the religious societies in the land, a member of all their committees, or a speaker at all their meetings, and a supporter of all their plans; he may profess to be looking for Christ's coming, and going forth to meet the Bridegroom, and yet not necessarily a Christian. He may lack the oil the Holy Spirit. A religion without the Holy Ghost profiteth nothing. There is the religion of the intellect, of the sense, of the fancy, of the flesh, of the creed, of the liturgy, of the catechism, of nature, of poetry, of sentiment, of mysticism, of humanity; but what are these without the Spirit. Christianity without Christ what would that be? Worship without God what would that be? So religion without the Holy Spirit what would that be? Go to them that sell, and buy for yourselves. Not to men, or churches, or ministers, but to Christ. Go to him. He is exalted to give it, and he will. Apply to him ere it be too late. (Horatius Bonar)

            Do we possess this oil? Do we have fire to cause the oil to provide light?

            Well, you may aver, "I have not received an invitation to this Wedding Supper of the Lamb!" How can you believe such a preposterous claim? You have received an engraved - no, GRAVED - invitation cut into the flesh of our Lord - on His back, His brow, His hands, His side, and His feet by nine-inch spikes. "But I cannot read that invitation" you claim! Really, now? Have you not read:  27 All things are delivered unto me of my Father: and no man knoweth the Son, but the Father; neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him. 28 Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt 11:27-30)


            Of course, one must be fluent in the language of Heaven to understand this invitation and passport to Heaven as a naturalized (adopted) citizen. To whom will God the Father grant admission to the Marriage Supper of His only Begotten Son? The mystery is hidden in the concluding clause of verse 27 above: " . . . .neither knoweth any man the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will reveal him." When we approach the Door for admission, we must be introduced to the Father by the Son. Do you KNOW Him?

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Monument to Faith or Foolishness



Monument to Faith or Foolishness

Alone, unkept, stands the monument to vanity.
For ages has it stood on the crested dunes of the high desert sands.
Covered in the sediment of time - a tribute to man's insanity.
It echoes the woeful dirge of forgotten potentates and lands.

The poet has dubbed the ugly edifice, Ozymandias![1]
It neither speaks, nor does it possess a date, for it is timeless.
The crumbled stones give expression of all vainglorious,
And on its trunk no names of nations that remain faceless.

There is a Land Between the Seas of whom mention is not made.
That land is a work in progress whose end is yet to be learned,
The morning of its founding gave hope of future promise laid
In God whose Son the Tempter spurned.

In some gray quarry beyond the Veil of Time,
That nation, tall and grand, is writing its final tribute page
Either to glorious remembrance line by line,
Or to the reprehensible fate of ignoble rage.

The Eagle of its Nature sits high upon the craggy Rock,
Whose eyes are keen to see the past and future scenes.
It has the power to soar, and to open up the lock
That opens God's favor to nations, peoples, kings and queens.

What words may be engraved concerning the Land Between the Seas?
Will they omit a name or time of passage in its course?
Or shall that land rise up again before the Sands of Time cease,
And once more bear to heart its Godly source?

That tale will be told in a host of tongues,
For nations are comprised of multitudes and not the few.
Each one who calls himself a citizen and to the forefront runs,
Must form and  grave the  face that's missing from our view.

God bless America Again!
©2015 Jerry L. Ogles





[1] Ozymandias was a Greek name for the Egyptian pharaoh Ramesses II. All prominent figures and the empires they build are impermanent and their legacies fade to decay and oblivion once they no longer follow their founding principles and join they parade led by the Prince of Darkness.


Friday, November 27, 2015

Vanity of vanities, saith the Preacher, vanity of vanities; all is vanity.

I pray that the unwritten name of America is not represented on this desolate monument to vanity.


Ozymandias

I met a traveller from an antique land
Who said: "Two vast and trunkless legs of stone
Stand in the desert. Near them on the sand,
Half sunk, a shattered visage lies, whose frown
And wrinkled lip and sneer of cold command
Tell that its sculptor well those passions read
Which yet survive, stamped on these lifeless things,
The hand that mocked them and the heart that fed.
And on the pedestal these words appear:
`My name is Ozymandias, King of Kings:
Look on my works, ye mighty, and despair!'
Nothing beside remains. Round the decay
Of that colossal wreck, boundless and bare,
The lone and level sands stretch far away.”


by Percy Bysshe Shelley

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Thanksgiving Day

Sermon – Rev Hap Arnold – Time and Action

Thanksgiving Day

The Collect.

O
 MOST merciful Father, who hast blessed the labours of the husbandman in the returns of the fruits of the earth; We give thee humble and hearty thanks for this thy bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness to us, that our land may still yield her increase, to thy glory and our comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

The Collect acknowledges in effect God hast blessed the efforts of the workers as shown by the things they produce from the natural resources God provided and that we give thanks for this great harvest of useful things, food and others, and that we pray God will continue to guide us and help us so we can stay prosperous and happy to show how great He is and for our own comfort, by the way.

In his Epistle, James tells us all good is of God and if we are of God, we will act of God.  Saint Matthew reminds us we should not worry about how things will be or what we will do.  Remember, the line of time stretches from the unknowable past to the unfathomable eternity of the future.  But, we humans here on earth live only today.  Today is where God’s finger touches that line of time.  Just do what we are supposed to now.  For yesterday will never come again and tomorrow will never get here.  If we do not act today, it will not be done. 

Few thinking people would dispute the rather obvious fact our country is in real trouble.  More than it has ever been before.  With the exception of the Civil War, in the past our threats have been external.  We were able to come together around a common core and eliminate the threat.  Today, our enemy is among us and attempting to divert people from our common core values.

Make no mistake, this has been a Judeo-Christian country since it was first inhabited, read General Washington’s proclamation regarding Thanksgiving.  From the beginning, people came here to worship in freedom, the greater part of them serious Christians, almost all nominal Christians owing their heart’s allegiance to our Lord.  But, almost all in the end feeling their world would be best served with freedom of religion.  None looked for freedom from religion.  Even the very few agnostics valued the Christian religion as the only one suited for a Republic.

Christians are exhorted to pray hard, love hard, work hard and yes, play hard.  We are not to be slothful in any thing, but moderate in all things.  To be respectful, conservative and happy.  We are not to be a burden on others, if possible. “…if any would not work, neither should he eat.” (2 Thessalonians 3)

But, what do we find today?  People being exhorted to do what feels good, accept all behavior as deserving of equal consideration and respect, to take it easy, to accept the handouts instead of working.  To be slothful, disrespectful, immoral and illiterate.  All this by our government and its minions.

What is the result?

Record levels with regard to:

·      Our country’s respect level at its lowest since 1776;
·      Increased crime;
·      Inflation;
·      Poverty;
·      Unemployment;
·      Suicides;
·      Illegitimate Births;
·      Cohabitation and Serial Habitation;
·      Unhappiness!

So, what is the cure?  Follow God’s instructions.

What can you do?

Act!  Action, not diction is the key!

Act on those right next to you.  Spread the Gospel to the person next to you.  It is your job!  It is God’s commandment.  Start with yourself and work outward.

Accept nothing less that your best from you.  Maintain a positive attitude, encourage your family to maintain a positive attitude.  Attend church, so you can be around people with the right ideas at least once a week.  Work with members of your church to stabilize their lives.  Hope for the best, prepare for the worst.  Remember, we all die.  There are none so poor as cannot purchase a noble death.  Act like today is your last day.  Do what must be done.  Accept nothing less from yourself.  Encourage your friends and family.

God gave us a job to do.  We must not fail.  The country may survive, it may not.  That is not our concern.   I took an oath of office well over forty-four years ago agreeing “I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter. So help me God.”  Now is not the time to stop.

The oath of office I took lays out our job pretty clearly.  We must do what we can to insure our country is here for the future.  That means bring people around to the side of God.  We need to be on His Side.  God is never on our side, He expect us to come to His Side.  The country’s problems all stem from a failure to follow His Directions.  So, one person at a time, we need to bring people over to His Side.  Start with you and work outward.  If one out of a hundred of us had brought one person to His Side, things would be different soon.

Start today!  Read Scripture every day.  Figure out what at least one verse means.  It will take a while, but you have the rest of your life to complete your study.  Figure out what God wants you to do and do it.  Try to pay your own way everywhere.  If someone must owe, let others owe you.  Do your part.  Be part of the economic solution, not the problem.  Remember, debt is not your friend.  Be vigilant in protecting your civil rights.  Do not surrender civil rights for temporary and illusory security.  Take the time to talk to others and try to help them understand how much more freedom and hard work can bring compared to “free things” from a plantation government.  Support free enterprise and this country.  Remember you are free because of the blood shed on your behalf by those who have gone to war to protect you.  Do not give up the freedom they died for.

Do not despair!  All is not lost.  And, if all were lost, there would still be no room for despair, rather one last charge. There is a lot to be done.  Go forth and do His Work.

This is a great country; not because God was on our side,
but rather because it has always been on God’s Side. 

Let it stay that way!

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Thanksgiving 2015, Anno Domini

Letter to the Anglican Orthodox Church from Bishop Jerry L. Ogles, Presiding Bishop, Anglican Orthodox Communion - Worldwide

The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved  (Jer. 8:20)

And it shall come to pass in that day, that the great trumpet shall be blown, and they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the LORD in the holy mount at Jerusalem  (Isa. 27:12-13)

In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump: for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.  (1 Cor 15:52)

            Another year fades into history on this Thanksgiving Day of 2015. The events of the year may bring remorse to the hearts of many, but above all else, we know that all things happen at the discretion of our LORD. Though we, or our loved ones, may suffer the tyrant's sword, these things are nothing of worth compared to the great glory that awaits every saint of God beyond Jordan Banks. These evil days must come to pass ere our redemption is realized in the Kingdom of God.  And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. (Luke 21:28)

            Thanksgiving is a day roughly comparable to the Feasts of Trumpets which was the Fall Festival in the Old Testament Church. I praise God our nation has set aside this day to express our gratitude to God for His over-arching Providence and Protection through the years of our existence as a nation founded upon biblical principles.

            And what should we be thankful for?  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you. (1 Thess 5:18) "EVERYTHING" encompasses quite an array of reasons to be thankful - not only the abundance of blessings in food, clothing, and shelter; but also for ALL things (even those we consider calamitous). We must thank God for all with which He has blessed, and for all those things that are common to the sorrows of a wicked world which we have been spared. We have not yet been beheaded as many good and valiant Christians have been lately by a bloodthirsty religious caste that serves the Devil in the place of God. But, I must be quick to add: these things are both possible and likely to a people who have known God with intimate love and have turned away from Him. Whether we wish to admit it or not, America has turned a deaf ear to God and has focused on licentious sins of the flesh and conscience. How long will God withhold His hand of Judgment? That will be determined in God's own discretion, however, you can be sure that our Lord will not tarry forever.

            The Feast of Trumpets is introduced in Leviticus 23:24-25. When the Trumpet sounded, the Children of Israel were to drop all labors and personal devices and proceed immediately to prepare Sabbath to the Lord. Later, the people dropped all labors and headed for the Temple for worship. The time is coming as illustrated in 1 Cor 15:52 above when the Trumpet shall sound and we shall all be gathered to go into the Holy Temple of God in Heaven.

            Let us pray that each of us will be ready and approved of God at the sounding of that Trumpet which can be on any day, and any season.

Happy Thanksgiving to the Family of God, and God bless you.

Jerry L. Ogles

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Hymns of the Church – Tell Me the Story of Jesus – 24 November 2015, Anno Domini (In the Year of our Lord)


1 My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: 2 For length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. 3 Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: 4 So shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man.  (Prov 3:1-4)

6 There is one God and one Mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, Who gave Himself as a ransom for all men(1 Timothy 2:6) 

Many children around the world are starving for food. The very next morsel is given them only by the grace of God; however, children in America suffer not for the food that sustains the body as can be witnessed in our growing problem with childhood obesity. They do, however, starve for the food of heaven that will nourish the soul and spirit. How spiritually wan and weak they have become for want of that spiritual nourishment.  Instead of productive action in doing good, they linger in the family lounge viewing every imaginable worldly website and playing bloody and demeaning games on their computers and iPods. It is not the fault of the child for children do not bear the responsibility God gave the parents to “Train up a child in the way that he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” (Proverbs 22:6) Instead of taking time to bear witness of our love and guidance by patiently teaching and setting an example, most modern parents ‘buy off’ the child’s attention by allowing them to be taught by the social culture, TV’s, and social media. How tragic – not only for the child – but for the nation and the Church.

There are at least two hymns of which I am aware by today’s title; however, I have chosen the one that has witnessed to my heart when as a child I heard it often from the lips of my mother. It is yet another spiritual masterpiece by the beloved Fanny Crosby. The musical score is composed by John R. Sweeney and first appeared in ‘The Quiver of Sacred Song’ in 1880.

Tell Me the Story of Jesus

Refrain
(Tell me the story of Jesus,
Write on my heart every word.
Tell me the story most precious,
Sweetest that ever was heard).
Tell how the angels in chorus,

Sang as they welcomed His birth
.
“Glory to God in the highest!

Peace and good tidings to earth.”
Refrain

(Tell me the story of Jesus,

Write on my heart every word.

Tell me the story most precious,

Sweetest that ever was heard).
Fasting alone in the desert,

Tell of the days that are past.

How for our sins He was tempted,

Yet was triumphant at last.

Tell of the years of His labor,

Tell of the sorrow He bore.

He was despised and afflicted,

Homeless, rejected and poor.
Refrain

(Tell of the cross where they nailed Him,
Writhing in anguish and pain.
Tell of the grave where they laid Him,
Tell how He liveth again).

Love in that story so tender,

Clearer than ever I see.

Stay, let me weep while you whisper,

Love paid the ransom for me.
Refrain

Tell me the story of Jesus, Write on my heart every word. Tell me the story most precious, Sweetest that ever was heard.”  Exceptional to the rule, this hymn opens with the refrain which is repeated in its first two verses and in altered form in the last. How many hearts, especially young ones, hunger and yearn to hear of the Lord their Savior - a form of malnutrition that does not present until the patient is dying or dead.  It is the same yearning expressed by those of Bethsaida who came to Philip:  The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. (John 12:21) Those who thirst to know God can only know Him by His Son, Jesus, who is God in the flesh. If we learn of Him, we shall see Him by and by.  Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart: and ye shall find rest unto your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light. (Matt 11:28-30)  As a small child, my mind could not fully comprehend such a magnificent Savior as our Lord, however, I learned much of Him for future years from those good old hymns which my mother sang daily about the house while I was still very young. I am still learning of His majesty and grace through those same hymns which  are on record in my heart.

Tell how the angels in chorus, Sang as they welcomed His birth. “Glory to God in the highest! Peace and good tidings to earth.” Throughout the lectionary of the Church Year, we are taught the unfolding beauty of the story of Jesus as a rose whose pedals are opened by God and impossible of being done by man. Only the Word of God can reveal Christ to us along with the tutelage of the Holy Ghost for us to understand that Word. The Christmas story appears in the first verse of our hymn – “Tell how the angels in chorus, Sang…” How those powerful Words of Scripture are burned into our hearts with the branding iron of love! And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and saying, Glory to God in the highest, and on earth peace, good will toward men. (Luke 2:13-14) Frankly, there can be no good will toward men, or peace on earth, without the love of Christ.

Fasting alone in the desert, Tell of the days that are past. How for our sins He was tempted, Yet was triumphant at last. Tell of the years of His labor, Tell of the sorrow He bore. He was despised and afflicted, Homeless, rejected and poor.” Truly the days of his fasting in the wilderness and of his affliction are past. He has paid the penalty for our sins once and for all. He was tempted as we are sorely tempted daily, yet, He was without sin – He never succumbed to the temptation – and that is what sin truly is. We are tempted to disobey God’s Moral Law – that is not sin. But when we follow through with the temptation and are disobedient to the will of God – that is sin. A young man or woman is not guilty of the abomination of homosexuality or lesbianism until they bow to the temptation, then it is sin. But Jesus was triumphant truly from the moment of His birth until the day of His burial. He sealed that triumph at Calvary, the Garden Tomb, and the Ascension. It is true that Jesus was a man of sorrows. He not only bore our sins, but our remorse for them as well. He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. (Isaiah 53:3)

Tell of the cross where they nailed Him, Writhing in anguish and pain. Tell of the grave where they laid Him, Tell how He liveth again. Love in that story so tender, Clearer than ever I see. Stay, let me weep while you whisper, Love paid the ransom for me.” Do you remember that old rugged cross where they laid our Lord down and nailed long, 9-inch spikes into His hands and feet? You should remember, because you were there along with every other desperate sinner. The penalty for YOUR sins was paid on that cross. No less than the ridicule of the Scribes and Pharisees, your jeers of rejection (through your careless living) also echo from that lonely Mount of Calvary. If you are Christ’s, you were also buried with Him in that Garden Tomb. Do you remember?  Have you died to self and been made alive in Christ? Have you risen in Christ as He did on that Third Day? Should we not weep as did Mary Magdalene did outside that Garden Tomb for remorse, and should we not weep for joy as did that same Mary when she heard the Gardener of her Soul call her name, “Mary,” as none other could do?


This is a lovely hymn that spans the whole of the Church Calendar from Christmas to Resurrection!