“At the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.”Philippians 2:10-11
We end this month’s Anchor with the words of Charles Wesley’s hymn, “O for a Thousand Tongues to Sing.” Since 1739 it has been sung by many a believer— inside the walls of prisons and out.
O for a thousand tongues to sing/ my great Redeemer’s praise,/ the glories of my God and King,/ the triumphs of his grace!
Jesus! The name that charms our fears,/ that bids our sorrows cease;/ ‘tis music in the sinner’s ears,/ ‘tis life, and health, and peace.
Wesley wrote this hymn for the first anniversary of his own conversion. He’d finally gained victory over his temper and his drinking and felt compelled to share his joy at the infamous Newgate Prison in London. There he would spend nights locked up with prisoners facing execution, that he might in their final hours bring comfort to them in the news that Jesus saves.
He breaks the power of canceled sin,/ he sets the prisoner free;/ his blood can make the foulest clean;/ his blood availed for me. Turn to your Redeemer and pray for His people behind bars who cling to Him in hope.
2 Corinthians 12:7-10
“There are better things ahead than any we leave behind” (C.S. Lewis, 1963).