“Faith of our Fathers”

The American heros who went before us had great faith in almighty God. Let us be reminded that many of them paid inordinate, personal prices as they preserved their Christian heritage and traditions.

Keep in mind, also, that the foundational stronghold to which our forefathers would cling was founded in the Bible, and it was to them as dear as life itself. Much more could be told about those who went before us and the persecutions they endured during their quest for a “new land,” where they could enjoy Christian freedom.

The faith of our fathers, referred to in this hymn, is their abundant trust in a loving, heavenly father. They had learned about him in the scriptures – lessons that presently guide our feet each day and which make it easier to fall asleep at night.

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Writing hymns was the life’s work and mission of Fredrick W. Faber. He wrote songs that he thought would be helpful to his fellow Christians. He wrote approximately 150 such hymns before his death. In the opinion of this writer, his crowning achievement was “Faith of Our Fathers.”

The message of the song, normally found in our hymnals, is very useful in evangelical worship.

“Faith of our fathers, living still,

In spite of dungeon, fire and sword;

O how our hearts beat high with joy

Whenever we hear that glorious word.

Refrain:

Faith of our fathers, holy faith.

We will be true to thee ’til death.”

As we pass through these days of remembering our fathers – those who have gone on before us – and the price that many of them paid for our freedom, may we remember that it is sometimes difficult to do right and to stand for truth and justice. You and I should be able to muster up the tenacity required to meet our just obligations and to refrain from those things that destroy and divide – even if the stars fall.

Henri Hemy, an esteemed organist and composer, wrote the musical setting for “Faith of Our Fathers.” He was born in England on Nov. 12, 1818. The composition was originally written in honor of Catherine of Alexander, a fourth century lady who was put death because of her faith.

Many of the great Americans, who were fathers of our nation, stood for what is right and holy in this country.

Among them are George Washington, who said, “It is impossible to rightly govern the world without God and the Bible.”

John Hancock informed us that, “We recognize no sovereign but God, and no king but Jesus!”

Then there was Frances Scott Key, the composer of our national anthem, who assured us that, “The patriot who feels himself in the service of God, and who acknowledges him in all his ways, has the promise of almighty direction…”

Abraham Lincoln reminded us that, “My concern is not whether God is on our side; my greatest concern is to be on God’s side. For God is always right.”

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord.” -Psalm 33:12

 

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