Sunday, March 09, 2014

Hymn-ful Sundays! "40 Days and 40 Nights"

It's the first Sunday of Lent! So this week's hymn is one that is commonly sung during Lent, and written by George Hunt Smyttan.

About the hymnwriter: Not much is known about George Hunt Smyttan, other than the fact that he was a German rector, who wrote several hymns and poems.

Forty days and forty nights
thou wast fasting in the wild;
forty days and forty nights
tempted, and yet undefiled.

Sunbeams scorching all the day;
Chilly dew-drops nightly shed;
Prowling beasts about Thy way;
Stones Thy pillow; earth Thy bed.

Shall not we thy sorrows share
learn thy discipline of will,
and like Thee by fast and prayer,
Wrestle with the powers of ill?

What if Satan vexing sore,
Flesh and spirit shall assail,
Thou his vanquisher before,
Will not suffer us to fail!

Watching praying struggling thus,
Vict'ry ours at last shall be;
Angels minister to us,
As they ministered to thee.
George Hunt Smyttan

These words sound kind of ominous (and the tune for the hymn kind of is too), but they illustrate the challenges that Jesus must have faced fasting in the wilderness for 40 days. In doing so, this hymn also reminds us that we are not alone when we face the wilderness(es) in our lives.

Be blessed and shine enduringly!

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A person finds joy in giving an apt reply—
and how good is a timely word! -Prov 15:23