1 How very good and pleasant it is when kindred live together in unity!
This passage and 1 Corinthians 12:26-27, are the basis for “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.”
1 Blest be the tie that binds our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds is like to that above.
2 Before our Father's throne we pour our ardent prayers;
our fears, our hopes, our aims are one, our comforts and our cares.
3 We share our mutual woes, our mutual burdens bear,
and often for each other flows the sympathizing tear.
The body of Christ is bound together by love. The second and third stanzas elaborate on the idea of suffering and rejoicing together. It concludes with the hope that this unity will not be permanently broken by death or parting. Paul wrote in Corinthians a short section on the unity and diversity of the body of Christ with this thought: “If one member suffers, all suffer together; if one member is honored, all rejoice together. Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it”
The author, Dr. John Fawcett had become an orphan at the age of twelve, and was largely self-educated. He was converted by the preaching of George Whitefield at the age of sixteen and began preaching soon thereafter. In 1765 Fawcett was called to a small, poor, Baptist country church in Wainsgate, Yorkshire. Seven years later he received a call from the large and influential Carter's Lane Church in London, England. Fawcett accepted the call and preached his farewell sermon. The day of departure came, and his family's belongings were loaded on carts, but the distraught congregation begged him to stay. This favorite hymn is said to have been written in 1772, to commemorate the determination of its author to remain with his attached people at Wainsgate. When love and tears prevailed, Dr. Fawcett sacrificed the attraction of a London pulpit to the affection of his poor but devoted flock where he remained despite other offers to advance himself.
Gracious God, we thank you for your love that binds us to you and to each other. Help us to share in our joys and sorrows knowing our hope lies in you. Amen.
Rev. Carolyn Hetrick
The people of Grace share their favorite bible stories for the 2023 Lenten Devotional: I Love to Tell the Story. Each day's devotional will be automatically posted so come back daily after 7 am for a new reflection.