1. I greet Thee, who my sure Redeemer art,
My only trust and Savior of my heart,
Who pain didst undergo for my poor sake;
I pray Thee from our hearts all cares to take.
2. Thou art the King of mercy and of grace,
Reigning omnipotent in every place;
So come, O King, and our whole being sway;
Shine on us with the light of Thy pure day.
3. Thou art the life, by which alone we live,
And all our substance and our strength receive;
Oh comfort us in death's approaching hour,
Strong-hearted then to face it by Thy power.
4. Thou hast the true and perfect gentleness,
No harshness hast Thou and no bitterness;
Make us to taste the sweet grace found in Thee
And ever stay in Thy sweet unity.
5. Our hope is in no other save in Thee;
Our faith is built upon Thy promise free;
Oh grant to us such stronger help and sure,
That we can boldly conquer and endure.
Lyricist: Strasbourg Psalter,
attr: John Calvin
Lyrics Date: 1545
Translator: Elizabeth Smith
Translation Date: 1868
Theme: Jesus Christ; His Praise, God the Redeemer
Composer: Genevan Psalter
Music Date: 1551
Tune Title: TOULON
Scripture: Galatians 1:4
Little is known about the story of I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art." This hymn has been attributed to John Calvin, from the Strasbourg Psalter of 1545. One of the primary reasons for not attributing it to Calvin is that the hymn is not found in any of the later psalters. Plus, the basis of the hymn does not come from any Psalm text. But, regardless of the hymnwriter, it is a solid hymn that has much to say to today's culture. The words are sung to the tune TOULON, the tune for Psalm 124 in the Genevan Psalter.
Come to me...for I am gentle
Jesus, in Matthew 11:28
The fruit of the Spirit is...gentleness
St. Paul, in Galatians 5;22
In 111 AD, Pliny, Governor of Bithynia, reported to the Roman Emperor Trajan about the conduct of Christians in his province. He wrote:
They were in the habit of meeting on a certain fixed day [Sunday] before it was light, when they sang a hymn to Christ as a god...
This is powerful evidence that the church was born in song. And they have been singing to Christ as God, not "a god" for almost 2,000 years.
Our hymn addresses Christ as our "sure Redeemer", "Savior" and "King". It also speaks of the qualities of His character: "mercy", "grace", "no harshness or bitterness" and "perfect gentleness."
This gentleness is not softness, indulgence, nor weakness; but strength—controlled strength. Christ was strong. No one every accused Him of having the spine of a wilted lettuce leaf. For illustration, remember when Christ drove the moneychangers from the Temple. He kept His strength under control.
Do you think I cannot call on my Father, and He will at once put at my disposal more than twelve legions of angels?
No angels appeared that night to protect Him or march Him to a throne. He walked, instead, to a cross.
And us? Gentleness must be power under control. The gentleness of Jesus is knowing when to speak softly and when to speak loudly. When to say yes and when to say no. Even NO, without exploding!
The gentleness of our 'sure Redeemer' listens to His prompting for when to speak; or to lovingly "take no notice" and remain silent.
"Lord, make us like Christ: tough and tender, gentle but firm.