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Tuesday, November 22, 2016
Hymns of the Church – All Year the Spring Breezes Blow – 22 November 2016, Anno Domini
1 Praise ye the LORD. Blessed is the man that feareth the LORD, that delighteth greatly in his commandments. 2 His seed shall be mighty upon earth: the generation of the upright shall be blessed. 3 Wealth and riches shall be in his house: and his righteousness endureth for ever. 4 Unto the upright there ariseth light in the darkness: he is gracious, and full of compassion, and righteous. 5 A good man sheweth favour, and lendeth: he will guide his affairs with discretion. (Psalm 112:1-5)
8 The wind bloweth where it listeth, and thou hearest the sound thereof, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit. (John 3:8)
Owing to the fact Thanksgiving Day is to be celebrated in America on this coming Thursday, I have decided to go outside the box a bit and write about one of my favorite Korean hymns (English edition). The author of the lyrics Young Taek Chun, and the music is composed by Doo Hoe Koo. The English translation is by the great Presbyterian missionary to Korea, John Underwood, who gave his life in saving a Korean mother and her child from drowning in the turbulent Han River waters.
사 철 에 봄 바 람 불 어 잇고
All Year in Our Home the Spring Breezes Blow
All year in our home the spring breezes blow,
Since God our Father abides with us here.
Firm faith the bedrock unshaken below,
Our home's a garden of gladness all year.
How we thank Him, Immanuel!
Our Home His, His, to serve Christ always!
Such joy and blessedness, day upon day?
Our parents, gentle with strong, tender care!
Brother and sister, love-link'd from our youth!
Here where all grieving and gladness we share,
Our thatch-roof room, and it's heaven in truth.
One house-hold, working till all work is done,
Morning and ev'ning in love and good cheer;
One table, with food and drink shar'd as one
This is our Garden of Eden right here!
All year in our home the spring breezes blow, Since God our Father abide with us here. Firm faith the bedrock unshaken below, Our home's a garden of gladness all year. John Howard Payne, a family friend of my great, great, great, grandfather, wrote a song entitled “Home Sweet Home” in 1823. That song has pulled the heartstrings of every generation since its writing because its subject is near and dear to the hearts of every kindly disposed man and woman of every age. There may have been incidents that occurred at home which were very painful at the time, and there were many that were writing with joy on our memories; but all of the sad memories evaporate with time and the happy moments burn more brightly than ever with the passing of time. It is true that during Winter, Spring, Summer, and Fall the Spring winds continue to blow through the home of our present life and that of our remote past. The great Russian writer, Leo Tolstoy, wrote in his short story, Martin the Cobbler, “Where Love Is, There God Is Also." That is the whole plot of his story, and it is a very true principle to be believed. If God abides in our homes, those homes will never fail of joy. Where God makes His home in the heart, there is joy untold. The home is the ark of safety, love, and provision if God is in that Ark. Home is, as saith Solomon, A garden inclosed is my sister, my spouse; a spring shut up, a fountain sealed. (Song 4:12) This makes euphemistic reference to Christ abiding with His Church in the Garden of Peace.
How we thank Him, Immanuel! Our Home His, His, to serve Christ always! How we thank Him, Immanuel! Such joy and blessedness, day upon day? Gratitude to the Master of our House which is Christ if we believe is the prime principle. He is Immanuel – God with us! Not only was Zacchaeus saved, but his whole house with him, for it became a place of service to the Lord. Every day is a blessing in the Godly Home. This is more a truth in the Christian homes of Korea for they are dedicated more to the family plan of God than most cultures by nature.
Our parents, gentle with strong, tender care! Brother and sister, love-link'd from our youth! Here where all grieving and gladness we share, Our thatch-roof room, and it's heaven in truth. It is a natural characteristic of the Korean parents to place the needs of their sons and daughters above every other consideration. The parents will bear any burden if it will advantage his or her child. They burn their energies in providing the best possible hope for the children. The child of the Korean family is the family’s token and trophy of pride, joy, and loving constancy. It is not unusual for a Korean family to sleep together in one room with the baby as well as the ten, and they ALWAYS eat meals together. The Korean meal, like Holy Communion, is a time of sharing the joy of love and sacrifice one for the other. In old Korean, as in old Europe, the homes were covered with thatch. But the meager provision of the house does not define the joy and pleasures of the heart that abide within. Home can be, and truly is in the hearts of Christians, Heaven on earth.
One house-hold, working till all work is done, Morning and ev'ning in love and good cheer; One table, with food and drink shar'd as one This is our Garden of Eden right here! Every member of the Korean family is important in contributing to the needs of the home. The children work alongside the father and mother to accomplish the objectives of the family. The sister may labor to send her older brother off to college, and vice versa. Actually, we in the west could learn much from the Korean model for home and family – things that we have forgotten with the coming of opulence and technical advancement. The more labor-saving devices we acquire, the less time seems available for home and family. But the family and marriage is God’s first institution, and critically important to healthy character and wholeness. It is even more important when we consider that the Lord intended the family to be a foreshadow and type of His Bride, the Church. When we eat and fellowship closely together in love, we are more likely to share love abroad beyond the walls of the home. The same is true of the Church. When we of the Church have become One with Christ, we will also become one with each other, and there is no cause for contention and disunity. The same tranquility that existed in Eden may be restored to our souls in a loving home. We do, in Church as in family, eat from the same Table (the Table of the Lord). We do in the Church as in the home, drink from the same Cup (that Cup of the Lord’s suffering) 1 Cor 11:26.
I do not believe any would disagree something very serious and very unfortunate has happened to the families of America – not all, but most. Children eat on the run and do not linger for paternal or maternal counsel and conversation. Children are seen less at home than at other social gatherings each day. The teaching of wisdom at home has been replaced by the institutional indoctrination of the labor-union-oriented teaching of the public schools. Every divisive principle against the teaching of the parents is taught at the public arena and that of the parents is proclaimed to be foolishness and out dated. So are we surprised that our youth have gone astray from the of their fathers? Should we be surprised drug addiction has replaced familial love; that strange and perverse sex has replaced the God-ordained plan of God for the marriage banns and wedding service? Our youth can no longer compete in the sciences, technology, or literary accomplishments of their peers in competing industrial nations – perhaps that is why we have, in the United States, become a post-industrial nation. Wisdom and prudence have evaporated from youthful society. Deception is not only possible, but certain, when a generation of youth has grown up without teachings in wisdom, logic, reason, civics, and, most importantly, the importance of knowing and following God’s Word.
May God restore the home in America to its rightful place of supremacy for the family.