Rejoice Always

Notes From Shirley

From November 2023 Newsletter
Writer William Arthur Ward said “Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it.” That’s why it is so important to show and convey thanks regularly. I know that I do not say thank you enough for all that the fellowship of Glenwood means to me. You amaze me by how many ways you show your love for Christ by showing your love for others.
There are many hymns that speak to me about the community of Glenwood, but perhaps the best one would be Blest Be the Tie that Binds. It was written by John Fawcett (1740-1817), who served a small congregation in northern England. This small church could only afford to pay him a minimal salary, partly in potatoes and wool. After seven years, Fawcett was called to the prestigious Carter’s Lane Church in London. But as he was saying his farewell and saw the tears on the faces of his people, he changed his mind and decided to stay. Recognizing that the bond of love he knew there was worth more than any material wealth, he penned the words of this hymn:

“Blest be the tie that binds
our hearts in Christian love;
the fellowship of kindred minds
is like to that above.”

The hymn speaks of how we bring our prayers for each other before our Father’s throne; how we share each other’s burdens; and even though we may not always be together, we have the hope of being reunited in eternity.

It is not only a reminder of sweet fellowship but gives us that gratitude of attitude that we celebrate this time of year. As we work and pray together for God’s kingdom here on earth, may we rejoice always!
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