I don't normally post on Sundays but this morning was just too great. The song we sang this morning for the anthem is one that I have heard my entire life. In fact, as a child, I heard it so often sometimes paired with so many of the pieces from Handel's Messiah that I thought surely this piece was also written by a master composer. Well, in fact, she is, but just not as old as I once thought. The piece we sang was "My Eternal King" by Jane Marshall. (Link is not the greatest in quality or vocal superiority but there are so many variations in terms of interpretations at the end, that this one comes closest to mine.) A few years ago, I had the pleasure meeting her and telling her that I had placed her in the same category as Bach, Mozart and Beethoven. She got a real kick out of that!
What struck me today were the words. It is poetry at its finest with the greatest message. But, put the last section with the music and contrast it to the tone of the rest of the piece is genius, gorgeous and spirit driven. I just had to share.
My God, I love thee.
Not because I hope for heaven thereby,
Nor yet because who love thee not
Must die eternally.
Thou, O my Jesus, thou didst me upon the cross embrace;
For me didst bear the nails, and spear, and manifold disgrace.
Why, then why,
O blessed Jesus Christ,
Should I not love thee well?
Nor for the hope of winning heaven
Or of escaping hell;
Not with the hope of gaining aught,
Not seeking a reward;
But as thyself has loved me,
O ever-loving Lord!
Even so I love thee, and will love
And in thy praise will sing;
Solely because thou art my God,
And my Eternal King.
He is my Eternal King and it's not just because of my hope for heaven or because I want to escape hell. I pray he is yours too.
Click here for a really great article with quotes from people close to me about Jane and her anthem.