For the month of July, I have been teaching the Seekers and Sojourners Sunday school class. I was a little hesitant to say yes when first asked, but I am glad that I accepted; it has been a great experience. Our topic for the month has been hymns and their stories. I have really enjoyed reading about the origin of hymns and the influences of writers of hymns. Throughout this month, I have found that many hymns point to the Wesley’s. However minor or major the contribution may have been, John and Charles Wesley changed the church with their hymn texts.
The story is the most important thing to me. I cherish many hymns, but what makes these hymns so special is the story that goes along with them... the who, what, when, where, and most importantly, the why. One of the hymns that we will sing this Sunday during worship is Blessed Assurance. I wanted to briefly share with you about this text and how it came to be.
Fanny Crosby contributed more than 8,000 hymn texts during her lifetime. Crosby was a gospel composer; gospel music is something uniquely American. Fanny, although blind, has inspired countless people through her poignant hymn texts of which Blessed Assurance is one. As is the case sometimes, the music comes before the words. A friend of Crosby’s, Mrs. Joseph Knapp, played a tune for Fanny and asked her to pen the words. After the tune was played, Fanny exclaimed “Why that says, Blessed Assurance, Jesus Is Mine!” I hope to see you in worship on Sunday. Let us not grow weary in our work of love.
Grace and Peace, Dakota