Hymn of the Month :: June 2011
Hymn of the Month :: "Have No Fear, Little Flock"
"Have No Fear, Little Flock" (LBW 476) is our hymn for the month of June, in keeping with the series of messages with the theme of “Fear”.
The author, Marjorie Ann Jillson (1931-2010), used the text from St. Luke 12:32 as the source for the first verse: "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom." Scripture texts for the other verses are St. Matthew 17:1-8, and St. Mark 9:2-8. One word mentioned in these extended texts is "fear", and that, in these texts, Christ tells his disciples that He is with them and they should not be afraid. According to the "Psalter Hymnal Handbook", 'the text has the character of a benediction: the Father has chosen to give you the kingdom (st. 1); the Father will keep you in his love forever (st. 2); the Lord stoops down to heal, uplift, and restore you (st. 3); God stays close beside you to work with you (st. 4). Ms. Jillson wrote the text while working at Gallaudet College (college for the deaf), and when she herself was dealing with illness.
Heinz Werner Zimmerman (b. 1930) is a composer of choral music, especially sacred music. He has been greatly influenced by the elements of jazz that he heard American spirituals. This German teacher spent one year at Stanford University doing research. We are reminded in stanza 4 to raise our thankful voices to God, who stays close to us.