I've mentioned Bible Study Fellowship a couple of times already in this series. Marc and I both attended BSF for over a decade and we were both children's leaders for several years. I could write a book on how significant BSF has been in our lives -- it's been that important to us. One of the things we both loved about BSF was their use of the hymns, both in the general class and in leader meetings. At leader meetings we were always asked to point out phrases in the lyrics that related to the scripture we were studying that week. It was a wonderful exercise. I have no idea if BSF still uses all the same hymns in their leader meetings or how they do things now; I'm just relating what it was like years ago.
Because of the rich history of hymns in BSF, there are certain hymns I associate with our BSF years. While we sang many of the well-known classic hymns at BSF, there were others that were not as widely known. Some of them are not found in my church's hymnal (Trinity Hymnal, Great Commissions Publications) or we might have sung them to a different tune in BSF. And then there are some hymns that we sing often in my church, but to me they just don't sound the same when they're not sung by a room full of women. ; ) The hymns I've chosen for this week (through Friday) are some of the ones that take me back in time to our BSF days.
The Trinity Hymnal has the hymn I chose for today, but it's not the "right" tune. And if I didn't have the music for the BSF version in front of me, I would be convinced that my memory has gone bad because I can't find any reference in the whole cyber universe to the tune we used! But the tune commonly used was written more than a 100 years after the lyrics, so you would think there must have been an earlier tune. Regardless of what tune is used, the hymn doesn't seem to be very well-known.
Nevertheless, I adore it. It has a simple, cheerful melody, making me think it could have originally been a children's hymn. If one is teaching a lesson on the attributes of Christ, this hymn is an excellent resource.
I've Found the Pearl of Greatest Price
John Mason, 1683
I've found the pearl of greatest price,
My heart doth sing for joy;
And sing I must, a Christ I have:
Oh, what a Christ have I!
Christ is a Prophet, Priest, and King;
A Prophet full of light;
A Priest that stands twixt God and man,
A King that rules with might.
My Christ, He is the Lord of Lords,
He is the King of kings;
He is the Sun of righteousness,
With healing in His wings.
My Christ, He is the Tree of Life,
Who in God's garden grows;
Whose fruit doth feed, whose leaves do heal;
My Christ is Sharon's Rose.
Christ is my meat, Christ is my drink,
My medicine and my health;
My peace, my strength, my joy, my crown,
My glory and my wealth.
Christ is my Father, and my Friend,
My Brother, and my Love;
My Head, my Hope, my Counselor,
My Advocate above.
My Christ, He is the Heaven of heavens --
My Christ what shall I call?
My Christ is First, my Christ is Last,
My Christ is All in all.
A post with no video or picture? It just feels wrong for me, but hopefully the words of this hymn will still fill your heart with joy.