A Diet of Jackdaws and Ravens

Western Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) ©WikiC

Western Jackdaw (Coloeus monedula) ©WikiC

A Diet of Jackdaws and Ravens

by James J. S. Johnson

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. … The Lord of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah.  (Psalm 46:1 & 46:11)

Looking at ravens, recently, I was reminded of the 46th Psalm and a hymn that majestically paraphrases its doxological theology.  Also I was reminded of the Jackdaw (Corvus monedula), which is cousin to the Raven (Corvus corax), both of which corvids range in Germany.

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

Northern Raven (Corvus corax) by Ray

But how are these – Psalm 46, a hymn, ravens, and jackdaws — connected?

Let’s begin with a famous hymn that paraphrases, in lyrical dignity, from the content of the 46th Psalm. Surely you recognize these lyrics:

Luther's Ein Feste Burg

Luther’s Ein Feste Burg

Of course, the lyrics are penned by a Saxon theologian of the AD1500s, in German, so maybe an English translation (of that hymn’s lyrics) would be more helpful.  This German hymn (“Ein feste Burg ist unser Gott”) was translated into English, as early as AD1539, by Bible translator Miles Coverdale, with the title “Oure God is a defence and towre” [notice obsolete spellings of “our”, “defense”, and “tower”].  The hymn’s composition (AD1529), as well as its original melody and meter, comes to us thanks to Dr. Martin Luther, the great Reformer.

But the most familiar English translation of this heroic hymn, by Frederick Hedge (AD1853), is “A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing”, which begins:

  1. A mighty fortress is our God, a bulwark never failing;
    our helper he amid the flood of mortal ills prevailing.
    For still our ancient foe doth seek to work us woe;
    his craft and power are great, and armed with cruel hate,
    on earth is not his equal.
  2. Did we in our own strength confide, our striving would be losing,
    were not the right man on our side, the man of God’s own choosing.
    Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus, it is he;
    Lord Sabaoth, his name, from age to age the same,
    and he must win the battle.
  3. And though this world, with devils filled, should threaten to undo us,
    we will not fear, for God hath willed his truth to triumph through us.
    The Prince of Darkness grim, we tremble not for him;
    his rage we can endure, for lo, his doom is sure;
    one little word shall fell him.
  4. That word above all earthly powers, no thanks to them, abideth;
    the Spirit and the gifts are ours, thru him who with us sideth.
    Let goods and kindred go, this mortal life also;
    the body they may kill; God’s truth abideth still;
    his kingdom is forever.

Of course, Lutheran choirs and organists know this hymn well!

Yet how does this hymn, and its music-loving author (Dr. Martin Luther), relate to a “diet of jackdaws and ravens”?

In the year AD1530 an ecclesiastical confrontation was scheduled to occur at Augsburg (a city in Bavaria, Germany), but Dr. Luther was persuaded to stay behind – mostly for his personal safety’s sake – in Coburg (a town of Bavaria, near Augsburg) because Luther was declared an “outlaw” at the Diet of Worms, so he was an unprotected target).  So Luther staid there, writing to his friend Philip Melanchthon (and others), as Luther waited for the next important event to occur in Germany’s (and Europe’s) Reformation.  But Luther was not one who would contently wait while others battled – and the controversy would have reminded Luther of prior confrontations that he had personally experienced, in defense and promotion of Luther’s Bible-based faith.

Martin Luther by Cranach restoration ©WikiC

Martin Luther by Cranach restoration ©WikiC

While in Coburg, therefore, Luther’s imagination could picture the clutter and cawing of agenda-driven clergymen (and bustling government officials) who were gathering, in Augsburg, to cluck about theological controversies, at what would be a hotly contested “diet” (conference of representative delegates).  Luther could easily imagine the conspiring conversations of the corrupt clergymen who would soon be attending and arguing at the Augsburg “diet”, seeking to ensnare Melanchthon and Luther’s other Protestant allies.

In Barnas Seares’ biography of Dr. Luther, titled THE LIFE OF LUTHER, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO ITS EARLIER PERIODS AND THE OPENING SCENES OF THE REFORMATION (American Sunday-School Press, 1850; 2010 reprint by Attic Books), he describes how Luther’s birdwatching provoked memories of prior confrontational conferences:

A mind like Luther’s could not remain inactive, and, for want of other employment, he suffered his fancy to picture to itself a diet of birds, as he saw them congregate before his window, much as he saw persecuting bishops in the huntsmen and hounds while engaged in the chase at Wartburg [where Luther was sequestered, hidden from his persecutors, during the time Luther translated the Bible in German].  The reader will easily recognize the satire.  The sportive letter [written by Luther] was addressed to his table companions at Wittenberg, and reads thus:

Common Ravens Feeding ©WikiC

Common Ravens Feeding ©WikiC

‘Grace and peace in Christ, dear friends.  … [Luther then explains that he and two other men] do not go to the Augsburg diet, though we are attending another one in this place.  There is, directly before my window, a grove where the jackdaws and ravens have appointed a diet; and there is such a coming and going, and such a hubbub, day and night, that you would think them all tipsy.  Old and young keep up such a cackling, that I wonder how their breath holds out so long.  I should like to know if there are any of these nobles and knights with you, for it seemeth to me that all in the world are gathered together here.  I have not yet seen their emperor, but the nobles and great ones are all the time moving and frisking before us; not gayly attired, but of one uniform colour, all black and all gray-eyed.  They all sing the same song, though with the pleasing diversity of young and old, great and small.  They pay no regard to the great palace and hall, for their hall hath the high blue heavens for its ceiling, the ground for its floor, the beautiful green branches for its paneling, and the ends of the world for its walls.  They don’t trouble themselves about horses and wagons, for they have winged wheels wherewith to escape from fire-arms.  They are great and mighty lords; but what decisions they come [to] I know not.  But, so far as I can learn through an interpreter, they meditate a mighty crusade against wheat, barley, oats, malt, and all kinds of corn and grain, and there is here many a hero, who will perform great deeds. … I consider all these nothing but the sophists and papists, with their preachers and secretaries, and must have them all before me thus at once, that I may hear their lovely voices and their preaching, and see how useful a class they are, to devour all that the earth bringeth forth, and cackle for it a while.’” [Quoting Luther, as quoted within Sears, at pages 449-451, with emphasis added.]

Jackdaws at Herstmonceux Castle

Jackdaws at Herstmonceux Castle

Somehow the busy yacking and cawing of the jackdaws and ravens, in Coburg, reminded Dr. Luther of the conspiring ecclesiastical kleptocrats whom he observed (and contended with), those crooked racketeers famous for grabbing (but not for giving) —  just as jackdaws and ravens are famous for shamelessly raiding the crop-fields that others work long and hard to produce food from.  (See 1st Peter 5:2-3; some things don’t change much!)

Quite a “diet”, pardon the pun.

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James J. S. Johnson’s Articles

Orni-Theology

Jackdaw and Raven Corvidae Family

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Thanksgivings From The Past

Tree Swallows Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge by jeremyjonkman on Flickr From Pinterest

Tree Swallows Ridgefield National Wildlife Refuge by jeremyjonkman on Flickr From Pinterest

“Being enriched in every thing to all bountifulness, which causeth through us thanksgiving to God. (2 Corinthians 9:11 KJV)

While thinking about a post for this Thanksgiving, I looked back to see what had been written in the past. Wow! Had forgotten so many have been posted. From way back in 2008, the first year of the blog until last year when I got wound up and posted several. So, today, the day before Thanksgiving, it’s time to bring those back out to review. Part of Thanksgiving is remembering all our blessings from the past.

Happy Thanksgiving was written in 2008. (I actually still had some color in my hair.)  :))

Thanksgiving Turkey was in 2009. This is about turkeys.

Birds of the Bible – Thanksgiving written in 2010. It is about things I am thankful for.

Thankful For The Lord’s Birds  from an article on the Fountain in 2011.

Happy Thanksgiving Turkey was posted in 2012. It is actually a re-post of the 2009 article.

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) by Dario Sanches

Black-throated Mango (Anthracothorax nigricollis) by Dario Sanches

Then last year, I got carried away and produced one-a-day for six days.

Old Testament Thanksgiving – 2013  – Thanksgiving verses from the Old Testament with photos.

New Testament Thanksgiving – 2013 – Thanksgiving verses from the Old Testament with photos.

Birds in Hymns – Honor and Glory, Thanksgiving and Praise – A Thanksgiving Hymn

Thanksgiving For Young People – Thanksgiving from a younger person’s perspective.

Happy Thanksgiving Day – 2013 – Blessings from 2013.

Thankful For The Birds – Title says it all. With photos and a slideshow.

And now this year, so far we have:

Reginald, Turkey Commander by Emma Foster

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I can see I am going to be challenged to come up with something for tomorrow. But the following verse assures me, there are still many blessings to recount. Your visits to the blog are a great blessings.

Through the LORD’s mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 NKJV)

Until Thanksgiving Day tomorrow, Lord bless!

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Who Paints The Leaves?

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Sunday Inspiration – Out To Sea

Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) by Ian

Wandering Albatross (Diomedea exulans) by Ian

Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness, And for His wonderful works to the children of men! Let them sacrifice the sacrifices of thanksgiving, And declare His works with rejoicing. Those who go down to the sea in ships, Who do business on great waters, They see the works of the LORD, And His wonders in the deep. (Psalms 107:21-24 NKJV)

Those who go out to sea are able to see many of the birds that spend most of their lives on the wing. The oceans do not always remain calm, but their Creator has created them to survive many varied conditions. How about us? As things come into our lives, they are not always comfortable to us. If we are placing our faith in the Creator, the Lord Jesus Christ, we can sing the last verse of the hymn below:

O soul, sinking down ’neath sin’s merciless wave,
The strong arm of our Captain is mighty to save;
Then trust Him today, no longer delay,
Board the old ship of Zion, and shout on your way:
“Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”
Shout and sing on your way: “Jesus saves!”

 

 

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“Ship Ahoy” ~ by Dr. Richard Gregory

And, behold, God himself is with us for our captain, (2 Chronicles 13:12a KJV)

I was drifting away on life’s pitiless sea,
And the angry waves threatened my ruin to be,
When away at my side, there I dimly descried,
A stately old vessel, and loudly I cried:
“Ship ahoy! Ship ahoy!”
And loudly I cried: “Ship ahoy!”

’Twas the “old ship of Zion,” thus sailing along,
All aboard her seemed joyous, I heard their sweet song;
And the Captain’s kind ear, ever ready to hear,
Caught my wail of distress, as I cried out in fear:
“Ship ahoy! Ship ahoy!”
As I cried out in fear: “Ship ahoy!”

The good Captain commanded a boat to be low’red,
And with tender compassion He took me on board;
And I’m happy today, all my sins washed away
In the blood of my Savior, and now I can say:
“Bless the Lord! Bless the Lord!”
From my soul I can say: “Bless the Lord!”

O soul, sinking down ’neath sin’s merciless wave,
The strong arm of our Captain is mighty to save;
Then trust Him today, no longer delay,
Board the old ship of Zion, and shout on your way:
“Jesus saves! Jesus saves!”
Shout and sing on your way: “Jesus saves!”

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More Sunday Inspirations

Gospel Message

Sharing The Gospel

Gideon

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Birds in Hymns – Be Strong in the Lord

Bald Eagle flying by Dave's BirdingPix

Bald Eagle flying by Dave’s BirdingPix

Text: Be Strong in the Lord
Author: Linda Lee Johnson
Tune: FETTKE
Composer: Tom Fettke

Be strong in the Lord

Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
Your mighty Defender is always the same.
Mount up with wings, as the eagle ascending;
Vict’ry is sure when you call on His name.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice for the vict’ry is yours.

So put on the armour the Lord has provided;
And place your defense in His unfailing care.
Trust Him, for He will be with you in battle,
Lighting your path to avoid every snare.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice for the vict’ry is yours.

Be strong in the Lord, and be of good courage;
Your mighty commander will vanquish the foe.
Fear not the battle, for the victory is always His;
He will protect you wherever you go.

Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And be of good courage, for He is your guide.
Be strong, be strong, be strong in the Lord;
And rejoice for the vict’ry is yours.

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More Birds in Hymns

Good News Tracts

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Smiling Penguins

Chinstrap Penguin direct look

Chinstrap Penguin direct look

When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them. (Job 29:24 NIV)

I know Our Lord has such kind and loving attributes. Also, I believe He has a sense of humor. Having just written about the “peach fuzz” penguin, I came across this Penguin family member. The Chinstraps.

 Chinstrap Penguins (Orne Island)

Chinstrap Penguins (Orne Island)

Be glad in the LORD and rejoice, you righteous ones; And shout for joy, all you who are upright in heart. (Psalms 32:11 NASB)

Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) by Bob-Nan

Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) by Bob-Nan

Strength and dignity are her clothing, And she smiles at the future. (Proverbs 31:25 NASB – virtuous woman)

Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) ©WikiC

Chinstrap Penguin (Pygoscelis antarcticus) ©WikiC

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 NKJV)

 

Smile And Sing

When the heart is heavy and the days are long,
Let each passing moment echo with a song.
Fill some life with courage, comfort now the sad—
Many lives are lonely, you can make them glad.

Refrain

Smile and sing, some happy, happy song,
Days of sadness will not tarry long;
Smile and sing, ’twill drive the clouds away—
Smile and sing thro’ every passing day.

Someone needs the comfort that a song can bring,
If thy heart is happy let it gaily sing.
Someone’s pathway brighten, lift some load of care—
Seek some heart to brighten, and its burden share.

Refrain

Smile and sing, some happy, happy song,
Days of sadness will not tarry long;
Smile and sing, ’twill drive the clouds away—
Smile and sing thro’ every passing day.

Many are in sorrow and the clouds hang low,
You can cheer and comfort as you onward go.
Win some soul for Jesus, from the path of shame
Giving all the glory to His precious Name.

Refrain

Smile and sing, some happy, happy song,
Days of sadness will not tarry long;
Smile and sing, ’twill drive the clouds away—
Smile and sing thro’ every passing day.

(Words & Music: Grant C. Tull­ar, 1899)

See:

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Birds in Hymns – Honor and Glory, Thanksgiving and Praise,

Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) by Margaret Sloan

Keel-billed Toucan (Ramphastos sulfuratus) by Margaret Sloan

For in the days of David and Asaph of old there were chief of the singers, and songs of praise and thanksgiving unto God. (Nehemiah 12:46 KJV)

Words from the La­tin Gradual, 12th Cen­tu­ry (Ju­bi­le­mus om­nes una); trans­lat­ed from La­tin to Eng­lish by Ed­ward A. Day­man in the Hymn­a­ry, 1872.

Music: Na­maan, M. Cos­ta (Mi­chael Cos­ta [1808-1884]?), ar­ranged by Will­iam H. Call­cott

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Honor and Glory, Thanksgiving and Praise

Honor and glory, thanksgiving and praise,
Maker of all things, to Thee we upraise;
God the Almighty, the Father, the Lord;
God by the angels obeyed and adored.

Thou art the Father of Heaven and earth;
Worlds uncreated to Thee owe their birth;
All the creation, Thy voice when it heard,
Started to life and to light at Thy Word.

Onward the sun and the moon and their march
Span with the rainbow the firmament’s arch;
Stars yet unknown, and whose light is to come,
Find in creation their place and a home.

Earth with the mountain, the river, the plain,
Sky with the dew-drop, the wind, and the rain,
Beast of the forest, wild bird of the air,
All are Thy creatures, and all are Thy care.

Ocean the restless, and waters that swell,
Lightnings that flash over flood, over fell,
Own Thee the Master Almighty, and call
Thee the Creator, the Father, of all.

Yea, Thou art Father of all, and Thy love
Pity for man that is fallen doth move;
Guide us in life, and protect to the last;
And, at Thine Advent, Lord, pardon the past.

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Birds In Hymns – My Refuge

Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) w youngby Nikhil Devasar

Painted Stork (Mycteria leucocephala) w youngby Nikhil Devasar

… In the LORD put I my trust: how say ye to my soul, Flee as a bird to your mountain? (Psalms 11:1 KJV)

Words: Al­ice B. Wood, 1901.

Music: Ack­worth, M. B. Will­is

My Refuge

To the rock flies the cony, the stork to her nest,
When tempests are gathering and black is the west;
So swift, by life’s trials o’erwhelmed and oppressed,
I fly to my refuge, Jehovah, my rest!

The nest, whither speedeth the storm beaten bird,
Aloft, on the fir top by tempests is stirred;
But the nest of my refuge no storm wind can smite;
’Tis the breast of Jehovah; I’m safe from afright.

The rock where the cony securely may hide
Is set in the mountain’s cold, pitiless side;
But the rock of my safety, the home of my quest,
’Tis the heart of my Savior: How warm and how blest!

Then blow, thou wild tempest, I fear not thy might,
Tho’ blackly thou lowerest, my prospect is bright;
Jehovah, my Savior, I fly to Thy breast;
Dear rock of my refuge! Dear sheltering nest!

 


Storks Shadowing Baby in Lakeland by Dan

Storks Shadowing Baby in Lakeland by Dan

In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God. (Psalms 62:7 KJV)

He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust. (Psalms 91:1-2 KJV)

Alice Boise Wood (?-1919) was the daughter of Pro­fess­or James R. Boise, Wood was the first wo­man to grad­u­ate from Chi­ca­go Un­i­ver­si­ty. She went on to teach Greek there, and was known as a po­et.

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More Birds in Hymns

See ~ Wordless Birds

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Birds in Hymns – Pleasant Are Thy Courts Above

European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) ©WikiC

European Turtle Dove (Streptopelia turtur) ©WikiC

For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand. I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psalms 84:10 KJV)

Words – Hen­ry F. Lyte, 1834

Music – Ben­e­ven­to, ar­ranged from Sam­u­el Webbe, Sr.,  (1740-1816), 1792

Al­ter­nate tune:  Maid­stone, Wal­ter B. Gil­bert, 1863


Pleasant Are Thy Courts Above

Ben­e­ven­to

Maid­stone

Pleasant are Thy courts above,
In the land of light and love;
Pleasant are Thy courts below
In this land of sin and woe;
O, my spirit longs and faints
For the converse of Thy saints,
For the brightness of Thy face,
For Thy fullness, God of grace.

Happy birds that sing and fly
Round Thy altars, O most High;
Happier souls that find a rest
In a heavenly Father’s breast;
Like the wandering dove that found
No repose on earth around,
They can to their ark repair,
And enjoy it ever there.

Happy souls, their praises flow
Even in this vale of woe;
Waters in the desert rise,
Manna feeds them from the skies;
On they go from strength to strength,
Till they reach Thy throne at length,
At Thy feet adoring fall,
Who hast led them safe through all.

Lord, be mine this prize to win,
Guide me through a world of sin,
Keep me by Thy saving grace,
Give me at Thy side a place;
Sun and shield alike Thou art,
Guide and guard my erring heart.
Grace and glory flow from Thee;
Shower, O shower them, Lord, on me.

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Wordless Birds

Song Sparrow (Melospiza melodia) by Ray

Song Sparrow

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Birds in Hymns – Sweet Is The Memory Of Thy Grace

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) eating by Jim Fenton

American Robin (Turdus migratorius) eating by Jim Fenton

They shall abundantly utter the memory of thy great goodness, and shall sing of thy righteousness. (Psalms 145:7 KJV)

Sweet Is The Memory Of Thy Grace

Words by Isaac Watts, The Psalms of Da­vid, 1719.

Music: Her­mann, by Ni­ko­laus Her­mann, 1560

Sweet Is The Memory Of Thy Grace

Sweet is the memory of Thy grace,
My God, my heav’nly King;
Let age to age Thy righteousness
In sounds of glory sing.

God reigns on high, but not confines
His goodness to the skies;
Through the whole earth His bounty shines,
And every want supplies.

With longing eyes Thy creatures wait
On Thee for daily food;
Thy liberal hand provides their meat,
And fills their mouths with good.

How kind are Thy compassions, Lord!
How slow Thine anger moves!
But soon He sends His pardoning word
To cheer the souls He loves.

Creatures with all their endless race
Thy power and praise proclaim;
But saints that taste Thy richer grace
Delight to bless Thy Name.


See More Birds in Hymns

Words from Net Hymnal

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Birds in Hymns – Bring, O Morn, Thy Music

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) by Raymond Barlow

Warbling Vireo (Vireo gilvus) by Raymond Barlow

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. (Revelation 1:8 KJV)

Words: Will­iam C. Gan­nett, in A Chor­us of Faith, 1893.

Music: Nicaea, John B. Dykes, in Hymns An­cient and Mo­dern, 1861

Bring, O Morn, Thy Music

Bring, O morn, thy music! Night, thy starlit silence!
Oceans, laugh the rapture to the storm winds coursing free!
Suns and planets chorus, Thou art our Creator,
Who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be!

Life and death, Thy creatures, praise Thee, mighty Giver!
Praise and prayer are rising in Thy beast and bird and tree:
Lo! they praise and vanish, vanish at Thy bidding,
Who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be!

Light us! lead us! love us! cry Thy groping nations,
Pleading in the thousand tongues, but naming only Thee,
Weaving blindly out Thy holy, happy purpose,
Who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be!

Life nor death can part us, O Thou Love eternal,
Shepherd of the wandering star and souls that wayward flee!
Homeward draws the spirit to Thy Spirit yearning,
Who wert, and art, and evermore shalt be!

Most information from The Cyber Hymnal

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YouTube by First Presbyterian Church of Berkeley, CA – Their Chancel Choir & Young Adult Choir

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See more – Birds in Hymns

Wordless Birds

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Birds in Christmas Hymns – Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

American Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) singing by J Fenton

American Yellow Warbler (Dendroica aestiva) singing by J Fenton

My lips shall greatly rejoice when I sing unto thee; and my soul, which thou hast redeemed. (Psalms 71:23 KJV)

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Words by Hen­ry J. van Dyke, 1907. Van Dyke wrote this hymn while stay­ing at the home of Har­ry A. Gar­field at Wil­liams Col­lege, Mass­a­chu­setts. It was first pub­lished in the Pres­by­ter­i­an Hymn­al in 1911. It al­so ap­peared in the Po­ems of Hen­ry van Dyke, 1911. Van Dyke wrote:

“These vers­es are sim­ple ex­press­ions of com­mon Christ­ian feel­ings and de­sires in this pre­sent time—hymns of to­day that may be sung to­ge­ther by peo­ple who know the thought of the age, and are not afraid that any truth of sci­ence will de­stroy re­li­gion, or any re­vo­lu­tion on earth over­throw the king­dom of hea­ven. There­fore this is a hymn of trust and joy and hope.”

Music: Hymn to Joy, from the 9th Sym­pho­ny of Lud­wig van Beet­ho­ven; adapt­ed by Ed­ward Hodg­es, 1824

Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee, God of glory, Lord of love;
Hearts unfold like flowers before Thee, opening to the sun above.
Melt the clouds of sin and sadness; drive the dark of doubt away;
Giver of immortal gladness, fill us with the light of day!

All Thy works with joy surround Thee, earth and heaven reflect Thy rays,
Stars and angels sing around Thee, center of unbroken praise.
Field and forest, vale and mountain, flowery meadow, flashing sea,
Singing bird and flowing fountain call us to rejoice in Thee.

Thou art giving and forgiving, ever blessing, ever blessed,
Wellspring of the joy of living, ocean depth of happy rest!
Thou our Father, Christ our brother, all who live in love are Thine;
Teach us how to love each other, lift us to the joy divine.

Mortals, join the happy chorus, which the morning stars began;
Father love is reigning o’er us, brother love binds man to man.
Ever singing, march we onward, victors in the midst of strife,
Joyful music leads us sunward in the triumph song of life.

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Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

Savannah Sparrow singing by Ray

More Birds in Hymns

See ~ Christmas Gospel Presentation

Most information from The Cyber Hymnal – Joyful, Joyful, We Adore Thee

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Birds In Christmas Hymns – Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) ©WikiC in nest

Red-eyed Vireo (Vireo olivaceus) ©WikiC in nest

Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God: But made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: (Philippians 2:6-7 KJV)

Words by Em­i­ly E. El­li­ott, 1864. This hymn was first used at St. Mark’s Church in Bright­on, Eng­land, where El­li­ott’s fa­ther was rec­tor. In 1870, it was pub­lished in the Church Mis­sion­a­ry Ju­ve­nile In­struct­or, which El­li­ott ed­it­ed.

Music: Margaret, Tim­o­thy R. Mat­thews, 1876

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Birds in Christmas Hymns

Thou Didst Leave Thy Throne

Thou didst leave Thy throne and Thy kingly crown,
When Thou camest to earth for me;
But in Bethlehem’s home was there found no room
For Thy holy nativity.

Refrain

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Heaven’s arches rang when the angels sang,
Proclaiming Thy royal degree;
But of lowly birth didst Thou come to earth,
And in great humility.

Refrain

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

The foxes found rest, and the birds their nest
In the shade of the forest tree;
But Thy couch was the sod, O Thou Son of God,
In the deserts of Galilee.

Refrain

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

Thou camest, O Lord, with the living Word,
That should set Thy people free;
But with mocking scorn and with crown of thorn,
They bore Thee to Calvary.

Refrain

O come to my heart, Lord Jesus,
There is room in my heart for Thee.

When the heavens shall ring, and the angels sing,
At Thy coming to victory,
Let Thy voice call me home,
Saying Yet there is room,
There is room at My side for thee.

My heart shall rejoice, Lord Jesus,
When Thou comest and callest for me.

Starling feeding chicks

Protection and feeding at the nest by Anthony

Em­i­ly E. El­li­ott (1836-1897) – Emily’s fa­ther was Ed­ward Bi­shop El­li­ott, Rec­tor of St. Mark’s Church in Bright­on, and her aunt was hymn­ist Char­lotte El­li­ott. For six years, Em­i­ly served as ed­it­or of The Church Mis­sion­a­ry Ju­ve­nile In­struct­or.

Tim­o­thy R. Mat­thews (1826-1910) – Son of the rec­tor of Colm­worth, Matt­hews at­tend­ed the Bed­ford Gram­mar School and Gon­ville and Cai­us Coll­ege, Cam­bridge (MusB 1853). Or­dained the same year, he be­came pri­vate tu­tor to the fam­i­ly of Rev. Lord Wri­oth­es­ley Rus­sell, a can­on of St. George’s Cha­pel, Wind­sor Cast­le, where he stu­died un­der the or­gan­ist, George El­vey, sub­se­quent­ly a life­long friend.

Matthews served as Cur­ate (1853-1859) and Cur­ate-in-Charge (1859-1869) of St. Ma­ry’s Church, Not­ting­ham. Dur­ing this time he found­ed Not­ting­ham’s Work­ing Men’s In­sti­tute. In 1869, he be­came Rec­tor at North Coates, Lin­coln­shire. He re­tired in 1907 to live with his eld­est son at Tet­ney vi­car­age.

Matthews ed­it­ed the North Coates Sup­ple­ment­al Tune Book and The Vil­lage Or­gan­ist. He com­posed Morn­ing and Ev­en­ing Serv­ices, chants and re­sponses, and earned a rep­u­ta­tion for sim­ple but ef­fect­ive hymn tunes, writ­ing over 100. William How­ard re­quest­ed six tunes from him for a child­ren’s hym­nal, and Mat­thews com­plet­ed them with­in a day. Mat­thews al­so com­posed a Christ­mas car­ol and a few songs. His sons Nor­ton and Ar­thur Per­cy were al­so known as hymn tune com­pos­ers.

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