view from my pew 3

Hello again to my growing internet fanbase. It’s Mr Grenville-Stubbs here again with another of my views from my pew.

Some of you will have heard of my highly successful late night radio show on our local radio station: Hymns On My Organ. I have had  my Hammond organ for 35 years and people write in with suggestions for me to play on it. It is one of my most prized possessions.

Lots of people ask for Amazing Grace or The Lord’s My Shepherd and while I am happy to play them occasionally I can’t play them every week. I prefer the really obscure suggestions, although some of the correspondence suggesting what to play on my organ baffles me because I have never heard of those hymns – I sometimes wonder whether people are having a joke at my expense.

organ
I suggest that if you do an internet search for ‘organ’ you exercise some caution!

I do struggle with some of the modern songs that we have to sing in our church. Some of them use romantic imagery about God that makes me feel quite uncomfortable. And others are so familiar with him – they lack reverence and awe. It doesn’t help that our Minister, Revd Philip Inneck-Tucker (or ‘Phil’ as he insists we call him) seems to think that we should repeat the same song twenty times*  so we can sing the words without thinking about them (really!!).

So you can imagine my surprise when I got a letter from ‘Phil’ asking me to play something in my show. At first I was suspicious but this is what he asked me to play:

What a fellowship, what a joy divine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
What a blessedness, what a peace is mine,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Refrain:
Leaning, leaning, safe and secure from all alarms;
Leaning, leaning, leaning on the everlasting arms.
O how sweet to walk in this pilgrim way,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
O how bright the path grows from day to day,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Refrain
What have I to dread, what have I to fear,
Leaning on the everlasting arms;
I have blessed peace with my Lord so near,
Leaning on the everlasting arms.
Refrain
I had to look it up in Sacred Songs and Sea Shanties, as I had never heard of it, but I was pleasantly surprised. Phil wrote in his letter that it was based on Deuteronomy 33:27 “The eternal God is your refuge, and underneath are the everlasting arms”. Apparently it was written in response to the news that the wives of two of the writer’s former pupils had died. Phil didn’t explain why he had asked for it but I played it on my show anyway.
The next Sunday when I saw Phil after the service he looked like he had tears in his eyes. When I offered my hand for the post-service formality he ignored it. I was shocked… and then he gave me a hug!

Well, I can tell you, we never got hugged by our previous Ministers!

Shame, really.

Q.R.Grenville Stubbs

Be blessed, be a blessing (as Nick likes to write)

*I might have exaggerated about the twenty times a little bit.
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