May 19, 2007

Selah Music Kick

Posted in Christian Life, God's Sovreignty, Music, Music Kicks, Personal, Poetry, Religion, The Church, Thoughts at 1:11 am by Dan Barnett

I used to think hymns were just so dull.  They were boring, and I couldn’t stand saying thou every 5 words.  A few years ago my fiancee(now my wife) turned me on to Selah.  Originally a brother/sister combo with good friend, Alan Hall, on piano, they have seen new faces over the last couple years.  Todd Smith, lead singer, is one of my favorite singers.  He puts so much passion into the song.  Selah does a lot of hymns on their albums.  They don’t jazz them up for the most part.  The way they sing them, though, makes it so you can’t help but listen to the words.  Have you ever really read the words to most hymns?  They have such a strong, biblical message.  This hymn combo, “Pass Me Not Oh Gentle Savior/It is Well,” is sung in two different languages–English and Kituba.  Todd and his sister, Nicole, spent about 8 years in the Congo while their parents were missionaries there.  Every album they record includes african songs along side the English ones. 

Here is the story behind this hymn:

Horatio G. Spafford, a 43-year-old Chicago businessman, suffered financial disaster in the Great Chicago Fire of 1871. He and his wife were still grieving over the death of their only son shortly before the fire. Spafford realized they needed to get away for a vacation. Knowing that their friend and well-known evangelist Dwight L. Moody was going to be in England that fall for a campaign, he decided to take the entire family to England. His wife Anna and his four daughters sailed ahead on the S.S. Ville du Havre. Urgent business delayed him so he planned to follow shortly.

The ship was struck by an iron sailing vessel and sank in 12 minutes in the cold waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Two hundred and twenty-six lives were lost. Mrs. Spafford miraculously survived the accident, but their four daughters Tanetta, Maggie, Annie and Bessie drowned in the tragedy. On reaching the European mainland, she cabled her husband with the sad message, “Saved alone.”

Later as he was on a ship to rejoin his wife, the captain informed when they were over the spot where his daughters died.  He penned the words to this hymn shortly after. 

Here was a man who had lost all five of his children.  He had every reason to curse God.  He had every reason to walk away and never care again.  Still, he wrote this, “Whatever my lot, thou hast taught me to say, ‘It is well, it is well with my sou.'”

I remember sitting with Beth on the couch when we realized she had probably miscarried our third child.  I remember the two of us, as sad and devastated as we were, agreeing that we would be ok(it would be well with us) with what was happening.  It didn’t take away the pain, but it brought hope to know God was in control.  Here are the lyrics to Selah’s version of the song:

Bika mono ve, mvulusi(Pass me not, o gentle Savior.)
mono ku lomba(Hear my humble cry.)
bu nge vuluswa ba nkaka(While others thou art calling)
bika mono ve(Do not pass me by.)

Yesu, yesu(Savior, Savior)
mono ku lomba(Hear my humble cry.)
bu nge vuluswa ba nkaka(While others thou art calling)
bika mono ve(Do not pass me by.)

It Is Well With My Soul
Words and Music by Horatio Spafford

When peace like a river attendeth my way
When sorrows like sea billows roll
Whatever my lot, Thou hast taught me to say

It is well, It is well with my soul.
It is well with my soul

It is well, It is well with my soul.
My sin, oh the bliss of this glorious thought
My sin, not in part, but the whole
Has been nailed to the cross
So I bear it no more
Praise The Lord, praise The Lord, oh my soul.

And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll
The trump shall resound and The Lord shall descend
Even so, it is well with my soul.

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