“O Love That Will Not Let Me Go”

In Concert Choir we are singing a piece with this title. It is a beautiful piece and speaks of some of the deep longings and desires of the soul. The text is by George Matheson and the music for our setting is by Joseph M. Martin.  This song speaks to me on many levels and I’ve included the text here for you. I’ve found it helpful when thinking about this text to ask myself: what is the Love that will not let me go?  Why do I have to yield my flickering torch? What is the sunshine’s blaze? What is the meaning of the rainbow that we’re tracing through the rain?

O Love that will not let me go,
I rest my weary soul in Thee;
I give Thee back the life I owe,
That in Thine ocean depths
Its flow may richer, fuller be.

O Light that follows all my way,
I yield my flick’ring torch to Thee;
My heart restores its borrowed ray,
That in the sunshine’s blaze
Its day may brighter, fairer be.

O Joy that seeks me through my pain,
I cannot close my heart to Thee;
I trace the rainbow through the rain,
And know the promise is not vain,
That morn will tearless be.

O Cross that raises up my head,
I dare not ask to fly from Thee;
I lay in dust life’s glory dead,
And from the ground there blossoms red
Life that shall endless be.

“In the Bleak Midwinter”

nativityThis year in the BYU Choirs’ Celebration of Christmas concert, the Concert Choir is singing a setting of the poem “In the Bleak Midwinter” by Christina Rossetti.

In the bleak midwinter, frosty wind made moan.

Earth stood hard as iron, water like a stone.

Snow had fallen, snow on snow, snow on snow.

In the bleak midwinter, long ago.

Our God, Heaven cannot hold Him, nor earth sustain;

Heaven and earth shall flee away when He comes to reign.

In the bleak midwinter a stable place sufficed

The Lord God Almighty, Jesus Christ.

Enough for Him, whom cherubim, worship night and day,

A breast full of milk, and a manger full of hay;

Enough for Him, whom angels fall down before,

The ox and ass and camel, which adore.

What can I give Him, poor as I am?

If I were a shepherd, I would bring a lamb;

If I were a Wise Man, I would do my part;

Yet what I can I give Him: give my heart.

I love this poem but especially the last stanza.  We give a lot of gifts at Christmas time but I think we often forget Christ in all of our gift giving.  We really have very little to give Christ that he doesn’t already have. We owe to him our lives, our agency, and our eternal salvation; however, as this poem teaches, we can give him the one thing that we have to give: our heart. May we all find a way to give Christ our hearts during this busy holiday season.