The bulletin begins with a quote from Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s 1939 book Gemeinsames Leben (Life Together). We have sometimes sung a hymn by Dietrich Bonhoeffer, “By Gracious Powers,” hymn no. 342. Dietrich Bonhoeffer authored the words in 1944. Fred Pratt Green translated the German to the verses in English in 1972.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer was born on 04 Feb 1906 in Breslau, Prussia. He was a Lutheran pastor and theologian who was opposed to Nazism and to the persecution of the Jews by Hitler.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer statue in Westminster Abbey
At age 24, in 1930, Bonhoeffer went to the United States for postgraduate work at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. He wasn’t impressed by how theology was taught and developed at Union. (He said, “There is no theology here.”) But he was impressed by Reinhold Niebuhr, under whom he studied. He also met Frank Fisher, a black seminarian who took him to the Abyssinian Baptist Church in Harlem. Bonhoeffer taught Sunday School there. It was at the Abyssinian Baptist Church that he heard the social justice gospel preached by Adam Clayton Powell, Sr. Bonhoeffer returned to Germany in 1931.
He was opposed to Hitler from the start. Bonhoeffer attacked the new regime only two days after Hitler was made Chancellor in 1933.
Bonhoeffer advocated that pastors stop officiating at funerals, weddings, and baptisms, but Karl Barth thought that sort of opposition was too radical.
Bonhoeffer then left Germany in the Fall of 1933 to pastor German-speaking churches in England, at Sydenham and Whitechapel. Barth accused him of abandoning his work to resist the Nazification of the German churches. Bonhoeffer returned to Germany in 1935 and established an underground seminary, which the Gestapo closed in 1937.
Next, he moved from village to village in eastern Germany while conducting a seminary on-the-run.
After the war began, he knew he could never fight for the Nazis, and, with the looming threat of being drafted, in June 1939, he returned to Union Theological Seminary in New York. He regretted the decision, saying,
“I must live through this difficult period in our national history with the people of Germany. I will have no right to participate in the reconstruction of Christian life in Germany after the war if I do not share the trials of this time with my people... Christians in Germany will have to face the terrible alternative of either willing the defeat of their nation in order that Christian civilization may survive or willing the victory of their nation and thereby destroying civilization. I know which of these alternatives I must choose but I cannot make that choice from security."
He returned to Germany where, in 1941, he was prohibited from publishing or speaking publicly. Then he joined the anti-Hitler resistance.
In April 1943 he was arrested by the Gestapo and sent to Tegel prison, where he remained for one and a half years. After the discovery of his connection to the groups that attempted to assassinate Hitler, Bonhoeffer was moved to the house prison (a detention cellar) of the Gestapo.
His letters and writings while in prison were later published and include his consideration of the idea that the “hypothesis of God” was no longer needed. He proposed that Christianity needed to be based in “an authentic this-worldliness” rather than in an otherworldliness and a preoccupation with salvation.
https://vimeo.com/158642487 “The Worldliness of Dietrich Bonhoeffer
He advocated a religionless Christianity.
Bonhoeffer wrote the words of his hymn in the 1990 Presbyterian Hymnal in the form of a poem he included in a letter to his mother on 28 Dec 1944. [It was printed in English in Letters and Papers from Prison in 1953.]
He was next transferred to Flossenbürg concentration camp where he was executed by hanging on 09 Apr 1945, only two weeks before the camp was liberated by the Allies.
The opening hymn Is hymn no. 122, “Thine Is the Glory.” It is sung to a tune from Georg Frederick Handel’s Judas Maccabaeus.
https://youtu.be/8p1BedwyFKY “See the Conqu’ring Hero Comes!” Chorus from Judas Maccabaeus by Handel, sung at the National Auditorium of Music of Madrid
with a huge chorus and a large orchestra
The words of “Thine Is the Glory” are by Edmond Louis Budry, who was Swiss. (The words were translated from French by R. Birch Hoyle in 1923.)
Edmond Louis Budry was born 30 Aug 1854 in Vevey, Switzerland, and died in Vevey on 12 Nov 1932. He studied theology in Lausanne and was a pastor from 1881. He was pastor of the Free Church of Vevey from 1889 until his retirement in 1923. He wrote this hymn in 1884.
Here it is a upbeat version of “To Thine Be the Glory” sung in French:
https://youtu.be/Me2lCRjVSo8 “À Toi la Gloire,” sung with guitar, banjo, bass, and drums (very upbeat), performed by Sebastian Demrey & Jimmy Lahaie, and others (very good)
À toi la gloire Ô Ressuscité
À toi la victoire pour l'éternité
Brillant de lumière, l'ange est descendu
Il roule la pierre du tombeau vaincu
À toi la gloire Ô Ressuscité
À toi la victoire pour l'éternité
Saints Peter and John Healing the Lame Man (1655) by Nicolas Poussin
The New Testament reading is Acts 3:12-19. Peter and John had gone to the temple—as it was 3 o’clock and time for prayer. There were beggars outside the temple gate, including a man who had been lame from birth. Peter said to the man, “In the name of Jesus Christ the Nazarene, sand up and walk!,” and he did. That got Peter and John a lot of attention. The reading tells what Peter said to the crowd.
The second hymn, no. 457, is “I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art (Je Te salue, mon certain Rédempteur),” attributed to John Calvin (10 Jul 1509 – 27 May 1564).
Most hymnologist don’t think the hymn was actually authored by John Calvin, but they also don’t know who the actual author was. The hymn definitely was used by Calvin’s followers from a very early time. In any case, the hymn is entirely consistent with something Calvin might have written.
Here is a good, simple performance with harmonies one can easily hear.
http://youtu.be/-14q2ufiiHo “I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art,” (tune: TOULON), female and male soloists alternating with choir, with words on screen
https://youtu.be/bRCDVO8oGjY “I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art,” piano only
The translation is by Mrs. Elizabeth Lee Smith, née Allen, daughter of Dr. William Allen, President of Dartmouth University.
In 1843, Miss Allen married Dr. Henry Boynton Smith, who became a professor at Union Theological Seminary in the City of New York. Elizabeth Lee (Allen) Smith is buried in the Bridge Street Cemetery in Northampton, Massachusetts. You can see her grave stone here: https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/63690907/elizabeth-lee-smith and https://www.findagrave.com/memorial/63690907/elizabeth-lee-smith/photo .
The tune, TOULON, was originally used as a psalter melody for Psalm 124. Toulon is a city in southern France. The tune is a shortened version of a tune in the Genevan Psalter of 1551 where it is used to sing Psalm 124 and has the name OLD 124TH. It is harmonized by Claude Goudimel (b. ~1520 in Besançon).
The gospel reading is from near the end of the gospel of Luke, Luke 24:36b-48, which tells of the final appearance of Jesus and his giving the final commission.
If follows the story of the two disciples (not apostles) who, on their way to Emmaus, are discussing the report of the women who have said they found the tomb of Jesus to be empty. During their discussion, the two are joined by another who accompanies them on their journey. After Jesus makes himself known to them and then vanishes out of their sight, they hurry back to Jerusalem to tell the eleven.
As they are telling their story to the eleven about what happened on their way to Emmaus (and after they arrived there), Jesus appears again—for the final time. They are startled and terrified and think they are seeing a ghost.
Jesus says, “It’s me! See, look at my hands and feet. I’m not a ghost, I have flesh and bones.”
Then they are happy. Jesus then says, “Do you have anything here to eat?” So they give him a piece of broiled fish. The author of Luke doesn’t say what kind of fish or whether Jesus ate anything else or whether he had anything to drink.
Jesus has a piece of broiled fish after the Resurrection.
[I don’t think this story about Jesus eating the piece of broiled fish has received the attention it deserves.
The Venerable Bede wrote that the broiled fish symbolized Christ’s suffering: “Piscis assus est Christus passus.” This is sometimes stated in the form of a couplet: “The fish fried, Was Christ that died.”
Swedenborg thought that it not only significant that it was fish, but also significant that the fish was broiled.
A vegan, on the other hand, has explained that Jesus was sinless, and he ate the fish so that those who cannot afford to change their circumstances so that they do not eat meat can continue to do so without feeling guilty. (The writer, though himself a vegan, asserts that being a vegetarian is a luxury.)
The reading concludes with the story of how Jesus opens their minds so they can understand the Old Testament scriptures. He then tells them “repentance for the forgiveness of sins is to be proclaimed in Jesus’ name to all nations, beginning in Jerusalem. Jesus then tells them that he is going to send them what his Father promised, and tells them to stay in the city until Pentecost.
The Prayer of Dedication is adapted from a prayer that is said to be a prayer of Teresa of Avila.
On April 22, 2012, Rev. Tom Philipp delivered a sermon in which he made reference to “an old hymn” that had words similar to "He has no other hands than our hands, no other feet than our feet." I couldn’t think of what hymn that might be.
I discovered that the words might better be called “The words that St. Teresa of Avila never said.”
After Tom’s sermon in April 2012, I Googled "no other feet" and "Christ" when I got home, and got many hits, including a number of recent musical arrangements of the theme of being Christ's hands and feet on YouTube, all which claimed the words were from a prayer of St. Teresa of Avila.
(Many of the musical arrangements of the verse on YouTube are pretty awful, but this one is pretty good: http://youtu.be/zoV6R6qk4vY --- if you ignore the attribution to St. Teresa. It's also rather somber.)
It seems that any web site that has anything to say about St. Teresa of Avila (and there are a great many), include what is said to be her prayer about every Christian being Christ's body.
Christ Has No Body
Christ has no body but yours,
No hands, no feet on earth but yours,
Yours are the eyes with which he looks with compassion on this world,
Yours are the feet with which he walks to do good,
Yours are the hands, with which he blesses all the world.
Yours are the hands, yours are the feet,
Yours are the eyes, you are his body.
Christ has no body now but yours.
[Born in Spain, Teresa (1515-1582) entered a Carmelite convent when she was eighteen, and later earned a reputation as a mystic, reformer, and writer who experienced divine visions. She founded convents, and wrote the book The Way of Perfection for her nuns. Other important books by her include her Autobiography and The Interior Castle.]
I decided to find out when and in what work St. Teresa wrote this prayer.
I was surprised to find that the prayer did not appear in any of the books of the collected works of St. Teresa of Avila that have been digitized by Google.
Even The Letters of Saint Teresa, published in 1893, fails to make any mention of the prayer.
In fact, the first publication that even attributes the words to St. Teresa wasn't published until 1938, when the following appeared in the obscure magazine Women and Missions (Vols. 15-16, 1938, p. 391):
"Christ has no body now on earth, but yours,
No hands, but yours, no feet, but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which Christ's
Compassion must look out on the world.
Yours are the feet on which He must go about doing good.
Yours are the hands through which He must bless us now. (St. Teresa)."
In the 1940s, the same attribution appears in several books and magazines, and with each passing decade a larger and larger number of publications appear, all attributing the verse to St. Teresa. By the 1980s, it has become a flood.
However, in The Review of Religion, Vol. 9, 1944 (in a book review), the reviewer writes "he quotes that remarkable saying of St. Catherine of Sienna:
"Christ has no body now on earth but yours.
Yours are the eyes through which His compassion is seen by men.
Yours are the feet with which He must go about doing good.
Yours are the hands through which He must bless the world now.
Christ has no other hands but yours."
There is an instance attributing the verse to Catherine of Siena that is slightly earlier, in the Friends' Intelligencer: Vol. 96, Issues 26-52, which series came out about 1939.
There are later attributions to St. Catherine of Siena also; writing in the Spartanburg [S.C.] Herald-Journal, on Sunday, Nov. 16, 1952, Wallace Fridy attributes the verse to "Catherine of Siena," but St. Theresa attributions are much more common.
The web page http://catechistresources.com/Printable%20resources/St%20Therese%20lesson%20booklet.pdf says the prayer is a prayer of St. Therese of Lisieux who died September 30, 1897, at age 24.
Another book, Letting God: Christian Meditations for Recovering Persons, 1987, p. 10, attributes the sentiment to Mother Teresa of Calcutta!
But this misattribution is explained in another work, Up and Down the Mountain: Offering the Healing Ministry of Christ in the Church Today, by Donal William Dotterer, 1992, p. 30.
Mother Teresa was asked on one occasion what words she lived by, and she responded by quoting another Teresa, Saint Teresa of Avila: Christ has No body on earth but yours; No hands but yours; No feet but yours; Yours are the eyes . . .
Then I noticed that books written in the late 1990s and after begin to preface the quote with
"Saint Theresa of Avila is said to have written . . .," or
"attributed to Teresa of Avila (1515-1582)
And Feasting on the Word: Year A, Volume 1: Preaching the Revised Common Lectionary, (John Knox Press, 2010, p. 260) says
"Said to be in a letter sent to her nuns toward the end of her life, although the actual documentation is obscure."
(One source had said it was included in her "Farewell Letter" of 1580, although why she would write a "Farewell Letter" two years before she died is unexplained.)
I have concluded that these words of St. Teresa's prayer are some of the most famous words of St. Teresa that she neither ever wrote nor spoke.
It is hardly surprising that she never said them.
In The Christian Examiner, Vo. 71, Sept. 1861, in a review entitled "Mystics and their Creed," p. 226, (a review of Hours with the Mystics by Robert Alfred Vaughn, B. A., London, 1860, 2 vols.), I found:
"The Roman Catholic mysticism of Spain was a languishing sentimental useless thing Mr. Vaughan tells us, and tells us very truly, that Saint Theresa 'knew little of that charity which makes gracious inroads on the outer world,---no feet washing do we read of, no hospital-tending, no ministry among the poor. Her ascetic zeal was directed not for, but against, the mitigation of suffering. It made many monks and nuns uncomfortable; but we are not aware that it made any sinners better, or any wretched happy.' "
(I suspect there might have been some anti-Catholic bias in this 1860 book, but Mr. Vaughn was not opposed to mystics generally, as he praises the good works of some of them.)
The kind of thing St. Theresa wrote had to do with visions of angels and other celestial inhabitants:
I saw in his hand a long spear of gold, and at the point there seemed to be a little fire. He appeared to me to be thrusting it at times into my heart, and to pierce my very entrails; when he drew it out, he seemed to draw them out also, and to leave me all on fire with a great love of God. The pain was so great, that it made me moan; and yet so surpassing was the sweetness of this excessive pain, that I could not wish to be rid of it...
She is known to have inflicted "various tortures and mortifications of the flesh upon herself." In her convent, she tried to revive the disciplines of "ceremonial flagellation" and always going barefoot.
Both worthy reforms, I'm sure, but not quite the same as acting out the role of Jesus in service to others.
In the comment section on one web site devoted to Carmelites on the page where "St. Teresa's prayer" appears, (in the section where web readers can submit their own remarks), one responder wrote:
I checked with the Institute of Carmelite Studies, ICS Publications, in Washington DC. Their scholars have said that the above prayer does not come from St. Teresa of Avila, either in her writings or in oral tradition.
It's probably too late to correct the error.
It is now well entrenched on YouTube and the rest of the web, as well as in hundreds of publications.
The Old Hymn
After dispensing with St. Teresa as the author, that still left me with the problem of finding "an old hymn" with the words.
There is such an old hymn (if 1919 can be called "old"), and the words were written by Annie Johnson Flint.
I found the words recorded in an issue of the Moody Bible Institute Monthly, Vol. 21, Issue, April, 1921, p. 377.
Annie Flint's poem is entitled "The World's Bible," which is described as
"a hymn which pictures Christians as being epistles of the Lord that are read by others,"
that is, individual Christians as books of a testament being "read" by the world.
The World's Bible
Christ has no hands but our hands
To do his work today;
He has no feet but our feet
To lead men in His way;
He has no tongues but our tongues
To tell men how he died;
He has no help but our help
To bring them to His side.
We are the only Bible
The careless world will read;
We are the sinner's gospel;
We are the scoffer's creed;
We are the Lord's last message,
Given in deed and word;
What If the type Is crooked?
What if the print is blurred?
What if our hands are busy
With other work than his?
What if our feet are walking
Where sin's allurement is?
What if our tongues are speaking
Of things his lips would spurn?
How can we hope to help him
And hasten his return?
---Annie Johnson Flint in Watchman Examiner
One source, printed in 1924, indicated that "The World's Bible" appeared in a (British?) Methodist Hymnal (Hymn No. 207) and was sung to the tune AURELIA. AURELIA is the same tune to which "The Church's One Foundation" is sung.
Hymnary.org gave these other collections in which it has appeared:
Favorite Radio Songs #d19
Christ has no hands but our hands The world's bible Annie Johnson Flint 1937
Spiritual Re-Armament, Hymns and Songs #d9
Christ has no hands but our hands Annie Johnson Flint 1941
Songs for Today: Songs for Age Group Choirs #d14
Christ has no hands but our hands Annie Johnson Flint 1948
Sacred Selections for the Church #d63
Christ has no hands but our hands The world's bible Annie Johnson Flint 1956, music by Fred C. Mallory
It is still being published in hymnbooks.
Another source reports that a tune was composed for the hymn by John E. Hamilton (1895-1972), which he used as an arrangement for "The World’s Bible." That arrangement was first published in 1934 by Stamps-Baxter Music in Leading Light.
"Among hymnbooks, the song may be found in the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; in addition to Hymns for Worship and Sacred Selections."
Annie Johnson Flint
Annie Johnson had a life filled with hardship.
She was born in Vineland, NJ, on Christmas Eve in 1866. Her mother died soon after the birth of her sister, and her father placed Annie and her sister with another family, in which household they were neither loved nor welcome, but they were rescued and adopted by the Flint family.
She became a teacher, but soon had to give up both her occupation and playing the piano due to severe arthritis. Before long she could hardly walk.
She moved to Clifton Springs Sanitarium in Ontario County, New York, and began writing and selling religious poems to pay for her treatments, which did little to improve her health. She wrote 6,000 devotional poems before her death in 1932.
(See: http://homeschoolblogger.com/hymnstudies/618197/ for more.)
Many of her poems have been published and the volumes are available from used book dealers (Poems, Vols. 1 & 2, Out of Doors -- Nature Songs, Songs of Faith and Comfort, By the Way: Travellogues of Cheer, Songs of Grace and Glory, Poems of Inspiration and Hope, Annie Johnson Flint's Best-Loved Poems, etc.) or as reprints from Amazon.
The Idea of Being Stand-ins for Christ
That still leaves the question of how this way of seeing Christians developed.
It is quite untraditional. Even today, there are conservatives who rail against the heresies of "St. Teresa's Prayer," since it appears to make God's plan for the world depend upon human behavior. [The orthodox Calvinists steadfastly uphold the idea that God is a sovereign God, and both Calvin and Augustine taught that humans are totally corrupt and depraved (due to The Fall). There is nothing unorthodox about "the church" being the "body of Christ," but in that case, each Christian is a part of the body, just as an ear, or an eye, or a leg is a part of the human body, and the head of that body is Christ, who is not on earth at all, but in heaven. The idea of each individual being a representation of the body of Christ seems to have developed in the late nineteenth century.]
The theology is more in line with that of the Society of Friends.
The idea that individual Christians are to represent the body of Christ doesn't appear to have been an American idea.
The concept appears in a nearly fully developed state in a report of an address made by the Rev. Mark Guy Pearse (1842-1930), a Methodist minister from Cornwall, in 1888:
Evangelical Christendom, Christian Work, and The News of the Churches. The Organ of The Evangelical Alliance. London. Vol. 42. Address by Rev. Mark Guy Pearse, West-end (London) Wesleyan Mission. February 1, 1888, p. 46.
"Now, you, my brothers and sisters, are the eyes through which Christ's compassion is to look out upon this world, and
yours are the lips through which His love is to speak;
yours are the hands with which He is to bless men, and
yours the feet with which He is to go about doing good---through His Church, which is His body."
Rev. Pearse published over forty books, including the best-selling Daniel Quorm and his Religious Notions.
Other works include: The Christianity of Jesus Christ: Is It Ours? (which you can read here: http://archive.org/stream/christianityofje00pear#page/n3/mode/2up ) and The Gentleness of Jesus (http://archive.org/stream/gentlenessofjesu00pear#page/n0/mode/2up ). (See a complete list of his writings that are available at archive.org here: http://archive.org/search.php?query=creator%3A%22Pearse%2C+Mark+Guy%2C+1842-1930%22 )
The Rev. Mark Guy Pearse
Sarah Eliza Rowntree makes a reference to Rev. Pearse's speech about four years later on the occasion of her attendance at a (British) Home Mission Association meeting, but there is an introduction and some refinement.
The British Friend: A Monthly Journal, Chiefly Devoted to the Interests of the Society of Friends, 1st Month 1st, 1892, Vol. I, No. I, p. 15.
"The Bedford Institute First Day School and Home Mission Association."
Sarah Eliza Rowntree gave an interesting account of the recent establishment of the "Home" in Pearl Street, and the progress of the Mission there. She appealed for more workers to assist its further usefulness, concluding with some words of Mark Guy Pearse,
'Remember Christ has no human body now upon the earth but yours;
no hands but yours; no feet but yours.
Yours, my brothers and sisters, are the eyes through which Christ's compassion has to look upon the world,
and yours are the lips with which His love has to speak.
Yours are the hands with which He is to bless men now,
and yours the feet with which He is to go about doing good through His Church which is His body.' "
A corrupted version of the idea does appear in America in The Life and Work of Lucinda B. Helm: Founder of the Woman's Parsonage and Home Mission Society of the M. E. Church, South by Arabel Wilbur Alexander, (Nashville, Tenn: 1898), but there, on pages 51 and 52, it is attributed to Bishop Galloway:
When the Woman's Foreign Missionary Society was organized in 1876, she was one of the most earnest and successful advocates of the cause. She believed in woman, and she believed there was no limit to what Christ would do for the world if we as his witnesses did our part. She would quote with deep earnestness and pathos those words of Bishop Galloway:
"Upon this earth he has no hands but ours,
no feet but ours,
no lips but ours to herald his truth.
How can we afford to waste such opportunities?"
[Charles Betts Galloway (born 1849, Kosciusko, Mississippi, died 1909) was elected an American Bishop of the Methodist Episcopal Church, South, in 1886.]
In the above, however, there is no longer any suggestion that hands, or feet, or lips are doing the work of Jesus, they are doing work for Jesus.
The second instance I find in America is in a sermon on attaining the inspiration of the Holy Spirit by the pastor of the Brick Church in New York City (1899-1901), although the precise year in which the sermon was delivered is not given.
Fragments that Remain -- From the Ministry of Maltbie Davenport Babcock, Pastor Brick Church, New York City, 1899-1901, Reported and arranged by Jessie B. Goetschius, Fleming H. Revell Co., 1907.
p. 6, " . . . the writer wishes again to assume entire responsibility for all defects, and to admit the probability that in some cases she may have expressed Dr. Babcock's thoughts in her own words. Yet she feels assured that his thought is faithfully transcribed, and that with rare exceptions his exact phraseology is given to the reader; and she has reason to believe that these admittedly fragmentary notes of occasional sermons will be received with appreciation, not only by those who were permitted to hear, but also by that far larger number who felt the influence of this prince of preachers."
"I. Sermons," "The Holy Spirit," p. 23.
How shall you attain to it?
By being faithful in conscious imitation.
Say to yourself,
"Christ has in the world no hands with which to help others; I will be hands to Him:
He has no feet to go to those who suffer; I will go:
He has no mouth with which to speak comfort to others; I will speak for Him."
Live for Him, and that means living for others.
(Authors agree on the hands and feet, but can't decide whether it should be "lips" or "tongue" or "mouth" or "voice." "Lips" keeps everything plural, so I think it the better linguistic choice.)
About the same time, or perhaps earlier, the concept was being propounded by a Presbyterian minister in New Jersey, but in a corporate sense rather than as personal imitations:
The Heart Side of God, by Albert Edwin Keigwin, Pastor of Park Presbyterian Church, Newark, NJ, 1901.
"Chapter IX. The Heart of God in the Touch of the Church," p. 243.
Strange as it may seem not only individuals, but many churches, have lost sight of the fact that we are saved to serve. The individual whose religion narrows itself down to the question, "How shall I get into heaven?" has no right to bear the name of Christ. No more does the church, whose effort is confined to those within its communion, have a right to the name Christian. It is not Christian. It may be Presbyterian or Congregational or Methodist, but never Christian.
If the church has no lips with messages for the world;
no hands with which to minister to distress;
no feet with which to go out into the highways and byways, then it cannot be the body of Christ.
By 1913, the idea has been expressed in a daily newspaper:
The Journal of the Friends' Historical Society, Vol. X, No. 1, First Month (January), 1913.
"Friends in Current Literature," p. 35.
An outside view of a Friends Meeting appears in The Manchester Courier of 11 November. The article contains these poetically expressed sentences:
"Last of all another woman rose to her feet and told us that certain words had been ringing through her ears all through the service. These words were:
'Jesus Christ has no feet or hands save yours and mine.'
And then she resumed her seat, and almost instantly there went through the congregation a faint shudder and stirring, and I knew that the service had come to an end. Each of us must have felt instinctively that by the speaking of this graphic sentence the coping-stone had been placed upon the bridge that joined the congregation to that other world we were all seeking. Only a poetic and sensitive people could have seen that there was nothing left to be said. 'Jesus Christ has no feet or hands save yours and mine.' There is sin and suffering in the world; it is for you and me to replace sin with purity and suffering with joy."
The Meeting was Manchester.
And it gets expressed in the context of evangelism in 1914:
The Christian Workers Magazine, Vol. 14, No. 9, May 1914, in "The Imperative Duty and the Glorious Privilege of Street Preaching," by H. R. Munro, New York, (an address to The Moody Bible Institute), pp. 592-593.
The one who goes to the street corner must go with Christly compassion with the white heat of his Master's love, he must remember he is standing on behalf of Christ propagating the ministry of the Son of God on earth.
Our Lord on high has no feet to walk these dusty streets but yours and mine,
no hands to minister to men and women in need but yours and mine,
no voice to speak the word of life but yours and mine, and
if your voice is still and
your hands listless and
your feet fail
the very streams of the power of God are stopped up.
God Himself is helpless to meet the power of sin and measure of human need without us.
So it would appear that Annie Johnson Flint wrote the hymn and Rev. Mark Guy Pearse (rather than Bishop Galloway, or St. Theresa, or St. Catherine, or Mother Theresa) was the first to express the idea.
All the above was in an email I sent to Rev. Philipp the day following his sermon. I concluded, “I guess it was a useful way to spend a rainy Sunday afternoon --- it was more entertaining than watching golf on TV.”
The closing hymn is no. 514, “Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ.” The text is by Fred Kaan.
This hymn is sung to a Jamaican folk melody adapted by Doreen Potter, which is named LINSTEAD, so we really need a steel drum and some conga drums to accompany us.
It is usually done as an upbeat song, but the original words are really rather doleful and downhearted, so it is a wonder that is such a popular Jamaican folk song.
https://youtu.be/PAJhFTS_k68 “Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ”
LINSTEAD, the name of the tune, is the name of a market in Jamaica. You can see the Linstead Market here:
https://youtu.be/d6PDQXGxYzs The Linstead Market in Jamaica
Here the Jamaican tune sung by Jamaicans:
https://youtu.be/MssS_SiyBpQ Linstead Market sung by Louise Bennet and the Caribbean Serenaders
And here’s a version with STEEL DRUM accompaniment:
https://youtu.be/iI0him3NicE “Linstead Market” sung by Briarwood Elementary Chorus, with steel drum
https://youtu.be/vzzokvC2_Dg “Linstead Market” (instrumental), steel drum only
The words of the original song are rather sad.
It’s about a Jamaican lady who goes to the Linstead Market on a Saturday night to sell her ackee fruit so she will have money to buy food for her children, but she isn’t able to sell any of her fruit and her children go hungry.
Carry me ackee go a Linstead market,
Not a quatty would sell,
A “quatty” was a small copper coin of very small value. As the night gets late, she tries to persuade a woman to buy her ackee and have it with rice for breakfast:
Mek me call i' louda, Ackee! Ackee!
Red and pretty dem tan.
Lady buy yuh Sunday mawnin' breakfus'
Rice and ackee nyam gran'.
But the woman isn’t able to sell any fruit and returns with nothing for her children:
All de pickney come linga-ling
Fo’ wha’ dem Muma no bring,
All de pickney come linga-ling
Fo’ wha’ dem Muma no bring.
The song was originally sung slowly and plaintively.
https://youtu.be/KdbSN4wfSfo “Linstead Market” sung at a slower tempo by The Spinners, with lyrics on screen
Full Name: Potter, Doreen, 1925-1980
Birth Year: 1925
Death Year: 1980
Doreen Potter (1925-1980) was born in Panama and received her primary and secondary education in Jamaica, where she studied piano and violin. She then moved to England where she trained as a teacher of music at St. Katharine's College in Liverpool. In 1957 she obtained a Licentiate of Music degree at Trinity College, London, where she played violin in several orchestras.
She married Philip Potter, who served as general secretary of the World Council of Churches in Geneva. Through that connection she met Fred Kaan and began writing tunes for his texts. In 1975 they published Break Not the Circle which included twenty new hymns through the Agape division of Hope Publishing Company.
LINSTEAD has become the most popular of the hymns that first appeared in this collection. This hymn is now widely sung all over the world and appears in most all denominational hymnals here in the states. LINSTEAD has also taken on a life of its own and now appears with a number of texts. Hope's new hymnal Worship & Rejoice (2001) has used the tune three times.
Unfortunately, Doreen Potter died of cancer at the age of 55 before many of her musical settings achieved popularity.
Fred Kaan is the author of the hymn. Because of the type of hymns he writes, the Presbyterian Hymnal includes ten of his hymns. The editor of the United Methodist Hymnal, Carlton Young wrote “Fred’s hymns invariably have social justice at their centre. They are cries, laments and prophecies born in the Church’s struggle to be faithful to the gospel . . . “
Fred Kaan (1929-2009)
Fred Kaan was born in Haarlem, The Netherlands, on 27 Jul 1929. During World War II, his parents worked with the resistance and hid a young Jewish woman who had escaped from Belsen. Three of his grandparents died from starvation during the war. He never attended church as a child, and first stepped into a church when he was in his late teens.
After studying theology and psychology at Utrecht University, he went to Great Britain (Western College in Bristol). He became a Congregational minister in 1955 and served first in south Wales, and was the pastor at Pilgrim Church in Plymouth. In 1972, the “Presbyterian Church of England” and the “Congregational Church in England and Wales” merged to become the United Reformed Church.
Fred Kaan began writing hymns at age 34, originally as a way of summarizing and emphasizing the themes of his sermons.
He didn’t like the new style of hymns called “praise hymns,” which he called “nursery rhymes of the church.” He believed that new hymns needed to “address the modern challenges to faith” and “issues of peace and justice.”
His hymns include “Let Us Talents and Tongues Employ,” “For the Healing of the Nations,” and “Now Let Us from this Table Rise.”
He was instrumental in the creation of the World Alliance of Reformed Churches in 1968.
In 1954, he had married Elizabeth Steller, a daughter of missionaries, but in 1989, they divorced. After she died in 1993, he married a general practitioner, Anthea Cooke. They moved to the Lake District after her retirement.
He developed Alzheimer’s disease and cancer and died on 4 October 2009 in Penrith.