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Welcome to the JCPC Daily Reflections Blog. Reflections are daily devotionals authored by JCPC pastors, staff and members and provide insight, guidance and comfort to help you make it through each day. If you’d like to receive Reflections each day via email,  provide your email address.

Friday, January 08 2021

Here I am, Lord.

Is it I, Lord?

I have heard you calling in the night.

I will go, Lord, if you lead me.

I will hold your people in my heart.


Here at JCPC, we sing this hymn "Here I Am, Lord" every year right around this time of year, usually when we're ordaining and installing new ruling elders.  This Sunday we will be doing this at our drive-in worship service!  I hope you will join us in the parking lot!!

In September of 2019, we surveyed our congregation to find out what their favorite hymns were.  "Here I Am, Lord" was #1, the most requested hymn, out of more than 800 hymns in our hymnal, and many more that weren't in our hymnal at all!!  When I researched the story behind this hymn, I found out that Dan Schutte, the author and composer, never assumed the tune would become so well-known.

Mr. Schutte was a Jesuit in his early thirties learning theology in Berkeley, California when one of his friends requested him to compose a song for an ordaining Mass of deacons.  As he thought about the concept of being called for the ordaining Mass, he looked to the stories of the prophets, like Jeremiah, who asked God to bestow him with the best words to use. When asked about the inspiration for the chorus, he explained, "In all those stories, all of those people God was calling to be prophets have expressed in one way or another their humanness or their self-doubt."  This Biblical sense of doubt along with counsel from the other St. Louis Jesuits was the reason Mr. Schutte altered the lyrics from a confident "Here I am, Lord; here I stand, Lord" to the self-doubting final version: "Here I am, Lord; is it I, Lord?"

All of us, as Christians, are called to work together, to worship together, to care for each other.  Our final hymn on Sunday reminds us we are "Called as Partners in Christ's Service."  What is God calling you to do right now?  Consider the final verse...


So God grant us for tomorrow ways to order human life

That surround each person's sorrow with a calm that conquers strife.

Make us partners in our living, our compassion to increase,

Messengers of faith, thus giving hope and confidence and peace.


Prayer for Today

Holy God, open our ears to hear your voice, and to discern your call.  In Jesus' name we pray.  Amen.

Posted by: AT 01:35 pm   |  Permalink   |  Email

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