Celebrating the BIRTH, LIFE, MINISTRY, SACRIFICE, DEATH and RESURRECTION of Jesus of Nazareth, Saviour of the World.

"For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved." (John 3:16-17 KJV, www.e-sword.net).

Saturday, 20 April 2013

Oh, Tell Me His Name Again

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   Gospel Hymns are portable theology for our spiritual support in times of distress.
- Bill and Gloria Gaither.


  One of the songs that had almost charmed me out of my shoes as a young believer, fledgling Sunday School teacher and Church Youth Leader during the period 1974-1984 was the hymn ‘Oh Tell Me His Name Again’.  In those days this song, made popular amongst others by The Blackwood Brothers, The Sego Brothers and Naomi as well as Jimmy Swaggart, was sung as an impromptu chorus or refrain also during many a formal Church service, for it had proved to be a great evangelisation tool for preachers.  The words are as follows (I quote from two verses):




Oh Tell Me His Name Again

(Text & Music: Rev. George Bennard/ © Copyright: The Rodeheaver Co. (Renewal) 1962)

They tell me of love's sweetest old story.
They tell me of a wonderful name.
It thrills my soul with its glory.
It burns in my heart like a flame.
They say He's the one who so loved me,
That in Heaven He could not remain;
He came down to seek and to save me,
Oh, tell me His name again.

CHORUS:  Oh, tell me His name again
And sing me the sweet refrain
Of Him who in love, came down from above
To die on the cross in shame.
This story my heart has been stirred,
The sweetest that I've ever heard,
It banishes fear, it brings hope and cheer,
Oh tell me His name again.

They call Him the sweet Rose of Sharon.

They call Him the lily so fair.
The call Him the great rock of ages.
They call Him the bright morning star.
He's a prophet, a priest, and redeemer,
The king of all kings He now reigns.
He's coming in power and glory.
Oh, tell me His name again.


   This song was immortalised in my memory as follows:  We were returning from the Western Cape province of South Africa, after we (my wife, the two small children and I) had been on a short vacation to Hermanus, a beautiful seaside resort famous with tourists for its in-season whale-watching.  Upon driving through the province of the Orange Free State, we decided to divert our journey to Virginia, where I had been converted as a young schoolboy in 1962.  It has been twenty years since that eventful year, and I wanted to see what my old ‘hunting grounds’ still looked like (See 'Post #1:  Jesus, Keep Me Near The Cross').
   When we arrived at the Church-grounds, I noticed that the campus had not changed much, and parked the car to check out the place inside.  The doors were unlocked as there were other cars parked in the Church-yard and people were heard singing inside, obviously practicing a song for the Sunday Morning or Evening service.  It was then that I almost froze in my tracks … the song the group was rehearsing was ‘Oh Tell Me His Name Again’!
   Dear reader, please try to imagine the immense significance of the song, and of the moment.  It was in Virginia where I had in 1962 first heard the name of the Saviour of mankind (in the correct context), and now, twenty years later in the early nineteen-eighties, as I again stepped into the Church-building for the first time in two decades, those rehearsing were singing a poignant reminder: Oh Tell Me His Name Again.  For me the moment was echoing the experience of the Indian woman, a recent convert to Christianity, who, after her dramatic conversion, reportedly had asked the missionary: “Oh please tell me His (Jesus’) Name again!”… the very request that had, according to legend, originally given birth to the writing of the song.  As you can see, even the (renewal) copyright notice reads ‘1962’.
   What a pleasant surprise when we visited that Church again in 2012, and found it completely remodelled, enlarged and hugely improved in most respects … ‘business’ was clearly booming! Another pleasant discovery was that the local pastor there (today) is an old schoolmate from my matric class of 1965.    

Piet Stassen


Bibliography

1.  Hymnary.  Accessed At <http://www.hymnary.org/person/Bennard_G.> [online] 2013.  
2. HymnLyrics.  'Oh, Tell Me His Name Again'.  Available At <http://www.hymnlyrics.org/requests/oh_tell_me_his_name_again.php> [online] 2013.

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