Saturday, 28 June 2008

'THE SCHOOL' By Gerhart Tersteegen

I first heard of Gerhart Tersteegen back in 1974 when I was about fifteen. At the fellowship I went to we used sing many of his hymns along with many old Wesley hymns we had put to guitar music.We met in different houses in Holywood, Co.Down, most of us were also still at school.Many nights as we sang praises to God we did not know whether we in heaven or earth, such were the joy and ecstasy we experienced in the Spirit. This was surely a mountain top experience which preceded for many of us, that of the valley. This was one of the hymns we sang. The words I think are simple, but also beautiful- expressing the desires of our hearts. The goal was not to become big, bold, brash(and bad) for Jesus, but to become and experience the favour of the Father for His child, and also to become obedient -even if it meant shame and pain.Is maturity in the Christian life being able to do more spiritual things- becoming more confident etc(c.p.The Corinthians)? It may be, but if we become proud of our achievements and feel God is lucky to have us we have need again to go back to first principles.AK

Matt. xviii. 3.

Where is the school for each and all,
Where men become as children small,
And little ones are great?
Where love is all the task and rule,
The fee our all, and all at school,
Small, poor, of low estate?

Where to unlearn all things I learn,
From self and from all others turn,
One Master hear and see?
I learn and do one thing alone,
And wholly give myself to One
Who gives Himself to me.

My task, possessing nought, to give;
No life to have, yet ever live--
And ever losing, gain;
To follow, knowing not the way;
If He shall call, to answer, "Yea--
All hail all shame and pain!"

Where silent in His Holy Place
I look enraptured on His Face
In glory undefiled;
And know the heaven of His kiss,
The doing nought, the simple bliss
Of being but a child.

Where find the school, to men unknown,
Where time and place are past and gone,
The hour is ever NOW?
O soul! thou needest ask no more;
God tells thee of His open door:
Still, hearken thou!

G. T. S.

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