767

御言葉をください (Send Your Word, O LORD)

Scripture References

Confessions and Statements of Faith References

Further Reflections on Confessions and Statements of Faith References

This song emphasizes the action of the Christian and the church to call on God to renew our hearts through the word. These requests are based on the truths taught in Belgic Confession, Article 24: True faith is “produced in us by the hearing of God’s Word and by the work of the Holy Spirit, (and) regenerates us and makes us new creatures, causing us to live a new life and freeing us from the slavery of sin.”
767

御言葉をください (Send Your Word, O LORD)

Additional Prayers

An Advent Prayer
O Lord Jesus Christ, Word of God incarnate, come into our lives, we pray. Shine on us with light everlasting. Rain on us with bounty unceasing. Blow on us to disperse webs of doubt. Settle on us like moistening dew. Shine on us, rain on us, blow on us, settle on us. O Lord Jesus Christ, Word of God incarnate, come into our lives we pray. Amen.
— Cornelius Plantinga, Jr.
767

御言葉をください (Send Your Word, O LORD)

Tune Information

Name
MIKOTOBA
Key
c minor or modal

Recordings

767

御言葉をください (Send Your Word, O LORD)

Hymn Story/Background

This hymn was originally written by Yasushige Imakoma to be sung on Pentecost Sunday, when he served at the Kawasaki Church. The poet believes that the crisis and wars of the world are caused by the lack of verbal communication, as shown by God’s interference in the building of the Tower of Babel (Genesis 11:1-9). The only way to solve the problem is to receive the gift of the Holy Spirit, as did the people in Acts, Chapter 1, who were able to communicate with those who spoke in languages presumed unintelligible. It is also like the faith of the centurion who requested Jesus to “only speak the word, and my servant will be healed” (Matthew 8:8). This hymn is a prayer to Jesus: “Send your word, O Lord” like the rain, like the wind, and like the dew, so that your endless grace, your wondrous power, and your endless love can renew the world. The hymn is appropriate as a prayer for illumination before or after the reading of the Scriptures, and it can also be an effective hymn during revival meetings or prayers for healing.
 
Koyama Shōzō was so moved by this direct prayer to the Lord that he set this tune MIKOTOBA (meaning “holy word”) in a minor mode (C=6 7 1 2 3 4 5) and in a b c d d a’ c form. Both the text and tune were accepted together for inclusion in the Sambika Dainihen in 1967. This was translated into English by the Reverend Tomoaki Hanaoka in San Francisco for the 1983 Asian American hymnal, Hymns from the Four Winds.
 
I-to Loh, Hymnal Companion to “Sound the Bamboo”: Asian Hymns in Their Cultural and Liturgical Context, p. 97, ©2011 GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago
— I-to Loh

Though utilizing Western harmonies, this Japanese hymn also bears a number of unique cultural traits. Musically, its phrases and tune stretch in refreshingly unexpected ways. Lyrically, the natural world (rain, wind, and dew) are powerfully connected to the spiritual world of God’s Word. 
— Global Songs for Worship

Author Information

Born in Tokyo in 1926, Yasusige Imakoma became acquainted with the Christian gospel after the Second World War, amid the chaos of Japan’s defeat, and entered the Seminary for Rural Ministry in 1952. He subsequently studied at Japan Biblical Seminary. He first served in a Kawasaki church, but in 1968 he devoted his ministry to the blind and became the head of the Japanese Association of Christian Mission to the Blind. He returned to pastoral work in 1976 and served the Tokyo Toshimaoka Church until 1989. He is currently an associate pastor in a Shimizu church.
 
I-to Loh, Hymnal Companion to “Sound the Bamboo”: Asian Hymns in Their Cultural and Liturgical Context, p. 430, ©2011 GIA Publications, Inc., Chicago
— I-to Loh

Composer Information

Martin Tel is the C. F. Seabrook Director of Music at Princeton Theological Seminary in Princeton, New Jersey. He conducts the seminary choirs, teaches courses in church music, and administers the music for the daily seminary worship services. He served as senior editor of Psalms for All Seasons: A Complete Psalter for Worship (2012). His love for music began in a dairy barn in rural Washington State, where he heard his father belt out psalms and hymns while milking the cows. Martin earned degrees in church music and theology from Dordt College, the University of Notre Dame, Calvin Theological Seminary, and the University of Kansas. He has served as minister of music in Christian Reformed, Reformed Church in America, and Presbyterian congregations. With his wife, Sharilyn, he is raising three children in Princeton.
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