Wednesday, April 6, 2016

Calvin Weiss Laufer

Presbyterian minister and hymnwriter Calvin Weiss Laufer was born today in 1874. He was ordained after graduating from Union Seminary and pastored churches before becoming associated with his denomination's publishing house, which included several of his texts and tunes in their hymnbooks.

In his prose writing, in books such as Key-Notes of Optimism (1911) and The Incomparable Christ (1914) (and probably in his weekly sermons as well) he preached a theology of God's love and our service to others.  Some critics thought his views were overly simplistic but he wasn't writing for them.

The first chapter of Key-Notes of Optimism is titled If Not in the Choir, Sing Where You Are, and concludes with these words:

So begin the day with a song. Sing where you are! Every true note pierces the sky and, if no other, God's ear will hear it and understand.

We have already seen his tune LITTLEFIELD here on the blog but today it's matched with the text he originally wrote for it.

My service, God, I give to thee
In humble faith and loyalty,
To be thine own in what is planned,
And heed with joy thy love’s command.

Show me the trails that turn and climb
Through lonely deeps to heights sublime,
Yet never lose their touch with life,
Its endless round of peace and strife.

I pray for tasks that ease the load
On other hearts along the road;
For love forgiving, patient, tried,
To quicken faith and hope beside.

Gird me with light whose rays and heat
Shall blaze a path to thy blest seat,
That halting steps, no more afraid,
May reach the goals for which they’ve prayed.

O grant me grace to serve with thee
In love unfailing, pure, and free;
Guide me in trails which few have trod,
Whose winding ways lead home to God.

Calvin Weiss Laufer, 1918; alt.

Three Years Ago: Calvin W. Laufer

Six Years Ago: Calvin W. Laufer

Eight Years Ago:  Calvin W. Laufer

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