Monday, August 5, 2013

Shall We Gather at the River?


Robert Lowry was a Baptist preacher and teacher who loved what he did.  On the side, he wrote music and lyrics.  Lowry once stated that he felt a sort of depreciation that he was better known as a hymn writer than a preacher.


Nevertheless, he might appreciate the fact that one hundred and fourteen years after his death, his hymns are sung and loved by millions.  Some of them are Shall We Gather at the River, Nothing But the Blood, Christ Arose (Low in the Grave He Lay), Follow On, and How Can I Keep From Singing.


I have known Shall We Gather at the River as long as I have known anything.  We sang it at baptisms, although it was stretching the truth to call that little creek a river.  Some years, the preacher had to really search for a place deep enough to baptize an adult.  Still, we sang it, and it worked for us.


I'm pretty sure Brother Lowry was referring to the river of life that we are told about in Revelation 22, and not the Tennessee River pictured here.  But, the Tennessee River is beautiful and multitudes gather there, especially on hot summer evenings. Fortunately, it is less than five miles from where I live.  It is a perfect place to watch the evening sun go down.