Judd Street Collection 630 (publ. 2007)Duration: approx. 8:30
I thank my mum for introducing me to Daniel Schutte's wonderful hymn 'I the Lord of Sea and Sky'. She led Sunday worship at our first corps, Stockport Heaton Norris, and used the song there. Thinking about it, it's amazing just how much inspiration comes our way from that which worship leaders are led to include in worship meetings...wow.
“Here I am, Lord.”
These four words have incredible power and significance. The utterance of this phrase combined with the right attitude of heart can have a big impact on the way we think and act. If we say them and mean them, they will inevitably bring immense challenges our way. Yet God wants us to do this – to just be open and obedient to His leading; to just say, “Here I am, Lord.”
Can you imagine what could happen if all of God’s children were actually ready to be mobilised at a moment’s notice, to boldly go where no Christian has been before? Daniel Schutte’s hymn delivers a striking message – that saying ‘yes’ to God releases us to do wonderful things for His Kingdom. At the end of the day, it is all about the attitude of our heart.
Recording by the Melbourne Staff Bandfrom their album Let Everything Praise (2006)
Lord of Sea and Sky.mp3
Sample score pages(right-click to download or open in a new window)
1. I, the Lord of sea and sky,I have heard my people cry.All who dwell in dark and sinMy hand will save.2. I, who made the stars of night,I will make their darkness bright.Who will bear my light to them?Whom shall I send?
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?I have heard you calling in the night.I will go, Lord, if you lead me.I will hold your people in my heart.Daniel Schutte© 1981 New Dawn Music
Here I am, Lord. Is it I, Lord?I have heard you calling in the night.I will go, Lord, if you lead me.I will hold your people in my heart.
Daniel Schutte© 1981 New Dawn Music
The music focuses on what scripture has to say about this and in particular, on how God goes about restoring his people – renewing their hearts. The story of the children of Israel demonstrates this. The prophet Ezekiel spoke the words of God to His people:
Movement I - Ezekiel 36:26-27
“…I will give you a new heart with new and right desires, and I will put a new spirit in you. I will take out your stony heart of sin and give you a new, obedient heart. And I will put my Spirit in you so you will obey my laws and do whatever I command.”
The music starts joyfully, confidently and with vigour as Solo cornets and 1st trombones exhort, “Here I am, Lord!” – the initial four-note theme, thus:
God promised to restore Israel not only physically but also spiritually. To accomplish this, God would give them a new heart for following him and put his Spirit within them (see 11:19, 20; Psalm 51:7-11) to transform them and empower them to do his will. Again the new covenant was promised (16:61-63; 34:23-25), ultimately to be fulfilled in Christ.
Application: No matter how impure your life is right now, God offers you a fresh start. You can have your sins washed away, receive a new heart for God, and have his Spirit within you—if you accept God’s promise. Why try to patch up your old life when you can have a new one?
Movement II - Ezekiel 11:19-20
“And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead…then they will truly be my people, and I will be their God.”
Not only does God renew our hearts, but through His Holy Spirit, He also gives us purpose. “Singleness of heart” in this scripture passage indicates a unanimous singleness of purpose. No longer will God’s people seek many gods; they will be content with God. The hard, deaf, immovable heart of stone will be radically transplanted with a tender, receptive, and responsive heart of flesh (see Jeremiah 32:39; Ezekiel 18:31; 36:26).
Application: This new life can only be the work of the Holy Spirit. It is God’s work, but we must recognise and turn from our sin. When we do, God will give us new motives, new guidelines, and new purpose. Have you received your new heart?
Movement III - Ezekiel 11:21
"But as for those who long for idols, I will repay them fully for their sins, says the Sovereign Lord.”
Here the words of Ezekiel sound a clear warning to those whose hearts will not be renewed, those who continually turn away from God.
Application: Still trying to find fulfillment in life from what you have and what you do? Quit fooling around - God is more interested in who you are. He wants you to put your time and energy into Him rather than your stuff. Our relationship with God is a like a two-sided coin. On one side, God loves and wants the best for his children but on the other, He is just and fair – sometimes having to discipline us.
Movement IV - Isaiah 6:8
"Then I heard the Lord asking, 'Whom should I send as a messenger to my people? Who will go for us?' And I said, 'Lord, I’ll go! Send me.'"
The more clearly Isaiah saw God (6:5), the more aware Isaiah became of his own powerlessness and inadequacy to do anything of lasting value without God. Nevertheless, he was willing to be God’s spokesperson.
Application: When God calls, will you also say, “Lord, send me”?
Towards the end of the piece voices exclaim “Here I am, Lord!”; quietly at first, but then building in a crescendo as more voices join. The music ends with a final affirmation from the whole ensemble: “Lord, send me!”
Copyright © 2011 - 2013 Martin Cordner
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