Sunday, June 14, members of my local church shared a special blessing that binds us together—in person worship! After a three-month break because of the COVID-19 pandemic we gathered in the sanctuary for our traditional liturgy. But this was no ordinary service.
Observed Social Distancing Guidelines
We observed “social distancing” guidelines regarding seating. There was no choir. The pastor and lay worship leaders spoke from behind a plexiglass box. Some people wore masks.
We were encouraged to hum or sing the hymns softly to avoid spewing germs on others. That was when I put on my mask. Then, I sang at the top of my voice with the congregation the hymn “Great is Thy Faithfulness.”
"Blest Be the Tie that Binds"
The blessing of worshiping today reminded me of the traditional hymn, “Blest Be the Tie that Binds.” English Baptist minister John Fawcett (1739-1817) wrote it to express his reluctance to leave a small congregation he loved. Swiss composer Johann Georg Nägeli (1773-1836) composed the music. American church musician Lowell Mason (1792-1872) arranged it for this hymn.
Blest be the tie that binds
Our hearts in Christian love.
The fellowship of kindred minds
Is like to that above.
From sorrow, toil, and pain,
And sin we shall be free.
And perfect love and friendship reign
Through all eternity.
Hear a spirited performance of “Blest Be the Tie that Binds” as sung by the Dallas Christian Adult Choir.
“Blest Be the Tie that Binds” connects beautifully with “The Blessing,” by Kari Jobe and Cody Carnes of Elevation Worship. Kari Jobe describes how the Holy Spirit enabled them to put this song together in about two hours of intense work. As she says, the words are straight from scripture, punctuated by the ancient word, “Amen,” (so be it).
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"The Blessing" - Key Lyrics
Some key lyrics of “The Blessing” include this passage from Numbers 6:24-26.
The Lord bless you and keep you;
The Lord make his face to shine upon you,
And be gracious to you;
The Lord lift up his countenance upon you,
And give you peace.
I am curious if you see a connection between The Blessing and Blest Be The Tie That Binds? Let me know by leaving a comment below.