Tuesday, March 29, 2011

"Consecrate" OR "Concentrate"

One of the hymns we sang last Sunday was "Draw Me Nearer". It seemed very appropriate and the longing of us all after the great revival we had just finished the week before. As we sang the second line I noticed that more than one person sang "Concentrate me now, to Thy service Lord" instead of the actual words of the verse which say "Consecrate me now, to Thy service Lord". I've heard many people mis-speak this line over the years and always before I would think, "Why don't they pay attention to what the words are!" And yet Sunday when I heard them using "concentrate" instead of "consecrate" it started me thinking. I thought about the definition of both the words. The word "consecrate" that Fanny Crosby penned down in the second verse means: To declare or set apart as sacred; Dedicated to a sacred purpose; sanctified. These are decisions every Christian should make. We should dedicate our lives to Christ and we should be set apart from the world as we live for Him.

Then I thought about the other word so often mistakenly used in this verse: "concentrate". This word means: To direct or draw toward a common center; focus; To bring into one main body; To make less dilute; To direct one's thoughts or attention. I realized that this is also something that I want to do for the Lord. I want to direct others to focus on Him and be born into the Body of Christ. I don't want to be diluted but strong. I want my thoughts and attention to be on God.

So from now on when I hear the song "Draw Me Nearer", it will really not matter which word the congregation uses when they sing the second verse! Either one will draw us nearer to God.

Hebrews 7:19 For the law made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did; by the which we draw nigh unto God.



Leah @ Point Ministries said...

How interesting! I've never heard anyone mix the two up, but then again, I've never really listened to others sing it.

I want to be consecrated and concentrated!!

Good to see you in blogland, my friend. Missed you

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Excellent, Marilyn! You had me thinking and laughing as well. Why can't they just read the words right? Either way, concentrate or consecrate me NOW, to thy service, Lord! We need both in our faith journeys with Jesus.


Karin said...

Over the years I've heard interesting renditions of some words - wish I remembered them! And yes, both words work perfectly. Enjoyed reading this fine post!

Patrina's Pencil said...

That's funny. I grew up with the hymns and I learned to miss pronounce a word or two - here and there. I sung them according to what I heard being sung. :)

I learned most of these songs by heart as a wee one - so I didn't need the written words. Haha Therefore, I sung it as my little ears heard it, and never knew any different.

As I grew older, I became aware of my learned style - but the miss pronounced words were already ingrained in me. It messed me up to switch gears and sing the correct words here and there. It messed with my focus. And these old hymns are such a real part of the fabric of my being.

Who cares... :) really. The Lord just wants a JOYFUL HEART.

Thanks for sharing this beautiful Hymn.

Patrina <")>><

Runner Mom said...

I had never noticed this either! Thank you for pointing it out and for sharing the definitions.

I also thank you for your sweet words and love during this time! Wish I could give you a big hug!I am sure my parents and your have met!!
Love you!

Anonymous said...

Great scripture! You are right; both words are appropriate.

Your Friend,

Michael M. said...

Great thought in your blog, Marilyn. I always read your work, however, I don’t often take the time to respond. But today’s words really settled in with me. Recently, I had been thinking along the same lines of how many of the words in our hymns are misspoken by so many “well meaning” worshippers as they sing the lines. One of the most common beside the one you mentioned in your blog, is the first word of “At The Cross”. Isaac Watts, the great Christian song writer, poet, scientist and scholar of his day wrote the verses of which the first line states: “Alas, and did my Savior bleed and did my Sovereign die. Would He devote that sacred Head for such a worm as I.“ This will forever be one of my favorite hymns and I do so look forward to singing it to my dear Lord in worship, face to face some day after a while. But that first word is so often mispronounced, as “At last”. “Alas” is an Old English word of exclamation, depicting tremendous emotion toward a horrifying scene of great loss, while, “at last” depicts a feeling of exasperation that a thing has finally ended following an arduous task of endless boredom and nothingness. Such a great difference! I do wonder sometimes, if any do ever read the words of the hymns they sing other than during the worship service at church.

Aliene said...

Good thought. Marilyn. I had ever thought about the two words together
but we can sure use both of them.