A Sermon Hymn for 27 April 2021 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“4 Then the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 5 Before I formed thee in the belly I knew thee; and before thou camest forth out of the womb I sanctified thee, and I ordained thee a prophet unto the nations. 6 Then said I, Ah, Lord GOD! behold, I cannot speak: for I am a child. 7 But the LORD said unto me, Say not, I am a child: for thou shalt go to all that I shall send thee, and whatsoever I command thee thou shalt speak. 8 Be not afraid of their faces: for I am with thee to deliver thee, saith the LORD. 9 Then the LORD put forth his hand, and touched my mouth. And the LORD said unto me, Behold, I have put my words in thy mouth.” Jeremiah 1:4-9
This pastoral hymn was written by our dear old faithful friend and Godly saint, Francis Ridley Havergal, in 1872. The lyrics of which I write are taken from the ‘BOOK OF WORSHIP FOR U.S. FORCES’ 1972 edition. The hymn is in public domain. The tune title is ‘CANONBURY’ by Robert Schumann (1856).
LORD, SPEAK TO ME, THAT I MAY SPEAK
1 Lord, speak to me that I may speak
In living echoes of your tone.
As you have sought, so let me seek
Your erring children, lost and lone.
2 Oh, lead me, Lord, that I may lead
The wand’ring and the wav’ring feet.
Oh, feed me, Lord, that I may feed
Your hungry ones with manna sweet.
3 Oh, teach me, Lord, that I may teach
The precious truths which you impart.
And wing my words that they may reach
The hidden depths of many a heart.
4 Oh, fill me with your fullness, Lord,
Until my very hearts o’erflows
In kindling thought and glowing word,
Your love to tell, your praise to show.
5 Oh, use me, Lord, use even me,
Just as you will, and when, and where
Until your blessed face I see,
Your rest, your joy, your glory share.
1 Lord, speak to me that I may speak In living echoes of your tone. As you have sought, so let me seek
Your erring children, lost and lone. We are not told the age of Jeremiah when the Lord called him to His service; however, the text suggest that he was quite young and perhaps in his teens. While it is true that God knew Jeremiah before He formed him in his mother’s womb, it is also true that He knew Jeremiah before the worlds were made and called him to be a prophet. Do not be surprised at this fact for He also knew you before the foundation of the world and called you to a particular station if you are His chosen elect. Jeremiah was intimidated by the high calling with which God had imbued him. While it is true that we are not worthy to do any service to God, if He calls us, He will make us worthy to fulfill the calling. The Word of God spoken by a child is not diminished by his youthful age, and has the same authority as if read by an aged clergyman. The Word of God bears its own authority untinged by the vessel from which it is served.
2 Oh, lead me, Lord, that I may lead The wand’ring and the wav’ring feet. Oh, feed me, Lord, that I may feed Your hungry ones with manna sweet. The blind are useless to lead others to safety. We are all born blind to the majesty of God’s Word even if we have an innocence of faith in Him. Only our Lord Jesus Christ knows the Way for us to go, for He is the WAY. We follow Him. A starving man can do nothing to feed others who are starving. If a man is called to preach the Word of the Lord, he must first be fed with the Bread of Heaven that is the Manna of Heaven. Being filled with that Bread, his soul can scarce contain the overflow. He must share that Bread with others lest it go stale in his heart.
3 Oh, teach me, Lord, that I may teach The precious truths which you impart. And wing my words that they may reach The hidden depths of many a heart. There is a deep in the heart of every soul much like the depths of the sea. “Deep calleth unto deep at the noise of thy waterspouts: all thy waves and thy billows are gone over me.” Psalms 42:7. The deeper meanings of God’s Word are understood by an inexplicable faith rather than by worldly proofs. We must be taught by God and not the fables of man. He will teach those whose thirst continually after His Word. “Shew me thy ways, O LORD; teach me thy paths. Lead me in thy truth, and teach me: for thou art the God of my salvation; on thee do I wait all the day.” Psalms 25:4-5 Who among us can know what treasures may lay hidden in the very depths of a man’s heart. Some of the crudest soldiers I have ever known were, in my opinion, beyond hope of salvation; yet, many responded in due course to the calling of God and became stronger Christians of faith than most who populate the church pews.
4 Oh, fill me with your fullness, Lord, Until my very hearts o’erflows In kindling thought and glowing word, Your love to tell, your praise to show. A heart filled with sin cannot receive the beauty of righteousness. It must first be washed clean with the blood of our Lord Jesus Christ. The empty vessel can then be filled with the goodness and treasures of the Lord. Being cleansed in the inward man, he will appear clean as well in the outward appearance. “Purge me with hyssop (a purgative herb to cleanse the alimentary canal), and I shall be clean: wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.” Psalm 51:7 Once God has cleansed the inner man, the outer man will appear whiter than snow; that is, unlike a snowflake, the new man will not even have a a speck of impurity at his heart. His righteousness is the imputed righteousness of our Lord.
5 Oh, use me, Lord, use even me, Just as you will, and when, and where Until your blessed face I see,
Your rest, your joy, your glory share. Each called of God is a vessel of the Lord – some of gold, silver, wood, or stone. Each category is subject to either honor or dishonor. Many silk attired pulpit dandies began on firm ground of the Gospel and ended in the ditch of the Pharisees when success blinded their hearts and pride filled their souls. “But in a great house there are not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonour.” 2 Timothy 2:20 Walking with the two disciples on the Road to Emmaus following the crucifixion, the Lord did not ask how far they were going before He shared all that was written of Him in the Law and the Prophets. Neither did they inquire the distance He would go for they were enthralled by His teaching. The three traveled to Emmaus, and not until He handed them the Bread, did they know His Him. He works in mysterious ways that are sometimes hard for man to decipher, but this is for a greater purpose of revealing greater and greater truth. Abide with Him and He will abide with you – FOREVER!