Saturday, October 3, 2009

Just As I Am

Saturday after Pentecost 17
October 3, 2009

The Lord be with you

Charlotte Elliott was born in 1789. At the age of 32 she became a invalid and had to live with her brother, who was a pastor. One evening in 1834 her brother and his family were busy preparing for a bazaar to raise money to build a college where the daughters of poorer clergy could be educated at low expense. Charlotte, who was blessed with an excellent education herself, was haunted by a sense of her helplessness. She could do nothing to assist. She tossed about that night, racing through her mind were many conflicts and doubts. The next day, Charlotte could not go. Charlotte could never go because her health restricted her to the home.

Though her body was weak, Charlotte’s faith was strong. One way she expressed her faith was with her writing. While the family was gone she wrote a hymn that you know.

Just as I am, without one plea
But that Thy blood was shed for me
And that Thou bidd’st me come to Thee,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am and waiting not
To rid my soul of one dark blot,
To Thee, whose blood can cleanse each spot,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, though tossed about
With many a conflict, many a doubt,
Fightings and fears within, without
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, poor, wretched, blind;
Sight, riches, healing of the mind,
Yea, all I need, in Thee to find,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am, Thou wilt receive,
Wilt welcome, pardon, cleanse, relieve;
Because Thy promise I believe,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come.

Just as I am; Thy love unknown
Has broken ev’ry barrier down;
Now to be Thine, yea, Thine alone,
O Lamb of God, I come, I come. (LSB 570)

The hymn was first published in The Invalid’s Hymnal, along with 114 other hymns by Charlotte. Her brother once said of this hymn, “In the course of a long ministry I hope I have been permitted to see some fruit of my labor, but I feel that far more has been done by a single hymn of my sister’s.”

Now in my gut I “know” that Rev Henry Elliott was correct. However I don’t have any stories to corroborate his evaluation of Charlotte’s hymn. If Just As I Am has been a blessing to you, would you please leave me a comment and let me know about it. The comment can be as simple as “This hymn has been a blessing to me.” However, if you can include a story about how it has been a blessing - that would be great!

Blessings in Christ
Pastor John Rickert

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