Here is my first hymnal entry. One of my favorite “styles” of music is current musicians who rewrite old hymns. For me, it is some of the best words combined with the modern progression of instrumentation and voice. One of the best groups out there doing this is band called “Red Mountain Music.” They hail from Birmingham, Alabama and I highly recommend all of their music. They get more play time on my iPod than most anything else.
Samuel Medley was a Baptist minister in England in the 18th century who catered his ministry to seamen after a failed career in the Royal Navy. He is best known for the hymn “I Know that My Redeemer Lives” but the piece that we are examining today can be found in the treasure troves of the Gadsby Hymnal # 386. The Gadsby hymnal was a collection of songs from 17th and 18th century which included such writers as Charles Wesley, Isaac Watts, John Newton, Anne Steele, Joseph Hart and William Cowper. Many of these hymns have been lost on today’s worship preferences, but they are special and in great need of rediscovery.
One of the main reasons why I love these hymns and this particular one is because of its consistent humility and transparency about the struggles of personal faith. It is good for us to have songs that cheer us up and talk of victory, happiness and light. It is just as important for us to have tunes that declare the reality of our struggles and sorrows. Simply looking through the Psalms reminds us of this careful balance. “Weary of Earth, Myself and Sin” is an unapologetic attempt at connecting to a common experience for all Christians at every phase of our adult lives: weariness.
This world makes us tired because it is not a whole place. This flesh makes us weak because it is not a well being. This faith makes us weary because our sin is not a finished issue.
Only when we reach the eternal rest of Heaven will our sin be finished, our soul be well, and our land be made whole again.
And yet, we can cry out to God, to Christ, our Healer and Friend; because He has done the work required for this Peace and Rest to become not just a hope, but a promise and a certain future for those who trust fully in Him! Matthew 11:25-30 reminds us that Christ invites us to enter into His rest and put our weariness upon His yoke, or His shoulders.
Let a poor laborer here below, when from his toil set free; To rest and peace eternal go, for there I long to be.
Let songs like this be the outlet we need for our Heaven-longings; and, at the same time, be the grounding we need to thrive within this Earth-sojourn.