The highlight to me of a church service I attended this week was a sermon preached by a young man.
You see, in our church our preacher for the service is typically selected just a few minutes before they preach. This is one of many things we do in an effort to keep our dependency on the Holy Spirit and to include each member in our services and in the work of the ministry.
This young man has been grappling with what so many young men grapple with these days; finding a job and launching his career. It has not been easy for him and for others. It seems that the only career certainty for young people right now is the presence of uncertainty.
He began his sermon by reading a song, “I Am Resolved,” which was written by a man named Palmer Hartsough in 1896.
So this is an old song, written smack dab in the middle of the Holiness movement that was sweeping the nation. And here we are in 2015, in a little church on the East Coast, with a young man at a pivotal moment in his life, reading the words of this song.
In my mind there is a split screen, on the left in sepia, a balding man with a pointed grey beard and white collared shirt, piercing eyes and thin lips, reading aloud a hymn he had just composed, his voice choked with the conviction of the words. In the right screen, our young preacher, reading the same words with similar solemnity. Oh how I love the precious consistency of the gospel message! It surpasses time and bridges generations! Words written hundreds, and even thousands of years ago, can become alive in the present with the vibration of the Holy Spirit.
I challenge you to read these words, and take them deep inside, and make them yours. It is going to take this resolve for each one of us to be a Christian man or woman.
- I am resolved no longer to linger,
Charmed by the world’s delight,
Things that are higher, things that are nobler,
These have allured my sight.
I will hasten to Him,
Hasten so glad and free;
Jesus, greatest, highest,
I will come to Thee.
- I am resolved to go to the Savior,
Leaving my sin and strife;
He is the true One, He is the just One,
He hath the words of life.
- I am resolved to follow the Savior,
Faithful and true each day;
Heed what He sayeth, do what He willeth,
He is the living Way.
- I am resolved to enter the kingdom,
Leaving the paths of sin;
Friends may oppose me, foes may beset me,
Still will I enter in.
- I am resolved, and who will go with me?
Come, friends, without delay;
Taught by the Bible, led by the Spirit,
We’ll walk the heav’nly way.