Wednesday, February 06, 2008

Hymn--Pass me not

We haven't had a hymn around here for a while. I happened to pick this one to play as part of my organ prelude on Sunday morning--"Pass Me Not, O Gentle Savior."
Pass me not, O gentle Savior,
Hear my humble cry;
While on others Thou art calling,
Do not pass me by.

Savior, Savior,
Hear my humble cry,
While on others Thou are calling,
Do not pass me by.
Here is Fanny Crosby's trademark allusion to blindness. The words refer to the story of Bartimaeus, as he is called in one gospel (Mark 10:46), the beggar who cried out to Jesus. The evangelists tell of how the crowd tried to hush him, but he cried all the louder, "Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me." (Luke 18:35ff) Jesus heard him, asked that he be brought to Him, and asked what he wanted: "Lord, that I might receive my sight." And Jesus healed him.

Entirely unbeknownst to me (I hadn't happened to look and didn't remember), the version of this story from St. Luke was the gospel reading on Sunday. A happy coincidence, if a coincidence.

There is something poignant and urgent about the words. One can well believe the story told here about a young man who was moved to conversion by hearing them and by the thought, "What if he should pass me by?" C. S. Lewis said in a letter that anyone who has once known God at all will be awakened one day to the fear of losing him. We may hope so.


Anonymous said...
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William Luse said...

very nice thought, and one of my favorite passages.