Sent by the Lord am I

The song I chose for 8 June (with a slight delay in posting my thoughts on it) was “Sent by the Lord am I”, with words by Jorge Maldonado and a tune arranged by John Bell.  It’s a short, straight-through song, although the second pair of lines is a repeat of the first, so it is usually sung more than once.

The message conveyed by the words is that ‘my’ task (actually that of all of us, to a lesser or greater extent) is to “make the earth the place in which the kingdom comes”, the reason being that even the angels are unable to do so.  While it’s always good to be motivated to play our part in bringing about God’s Kingdom, this seems to me to portray God as an absentee landlord who has just told us to get on with things.  In fact, the Gospel message is surely that God has sent the Holy Spirit to bring about the Kingdom following Jesus’ victory over evil on the Cross, but that we play our part by being open to the Spirit working in us and giving us the gifts needed for the task.

1 thought on “Sent by the Lord am I”

  1. I enjoyed singing this piece; but just to sing it through once seems too brief, to finish at the end rather than in the middle seems incomplete (instead it seems to require a D.C. at the end and a Fine at the half-way point), and the single verse seems to invite a bit more. So I added a second verse to the hymn:

    The people are oppressed,
    injustices are rife,
    their needs are unaddressed,
    they languish in their strife:
    we need to find a way
    for justice and for right,
    so help me to obey
    and follow in your light.

    and sang ch-v1-ch-v2-ch.

    I suppose this extra verse betrays my opinion that the first verse could have done with some rhyme-structure as well! Any song-writer has to face the question of how one selects the words one uses, given that one’s subject area is vast and there are many words one could choose. The great thing about rhyme is that it enables lyrics to become earworms, and we writers need to remember not to sacrifice rhyme just because sometimes it’s hard to write.

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