Lord Jesus, Think on Me

Southwell https://youtu.be/B5llNa99jQg
St Bride https://youtu.be/v8Use1rX3gE

Author: Synesius of Cyrene c375-c430, Bishop of Ptolemais, now in Libya, Africa

The author of this text was Synesius of Cyrene. He was selected by popular proclamation as Bishop of Ptolemais because of his character, not his ardent faith. He came from a very distinguished family and was quite wealthy. He was highly regarded as a statesman and philosopher. Prior to ascension to the Bishopric, he was an active Neo-Platonic philosopher. His philosophical bent led him to deny much of historic Christianity. (Some things never change.) He didn’t wish for the position and tried to avoid it, but in the end agreed to taking the position.

It is difficult to fully grasp how Synesius’s thinking developed through the years. Edward Gibbons in his “Rise and Fall of the Roman empire” described him as a semi-Christian as he denied the Resurrection. However, this text, coming from his “Odes” clearly show he was praying to a living Jesus.

Synesius was married and had children at the time of his assumption of his office. He lost all his children to a plague and his wife preceded him in death by many years. He struggled with the tenants of the Christian faith in the early days of his office and in the end came to accept them. He did remain married until his wife’s passing.

This hymn is often used during Lent; however it is quite fitting for any season. The opening of each stanza can also be translated: “Lord Jesus, remember me.” This expression has many instances throughout Scripture, from God “remembering” Moses to the thief on the cross, asking Jesus to “remember” him.

Often, in our darkest hours, when we become completely absorbed in our misery and pain, our thoughts are only of ourselves. It is hard to think of anything else when we are overcome by pain, whether physical or emotional.  And here, we ask the Lord of all creation to remember us or to think on us! The boldness of the request finds its root in our utter helplessness. We are at the end of ourselves and realize there is nowhere else to turn. It isn’t even a request for safety or release, just a hope to be thought about.

In each stanza we get a sense of the request coming from the point of ending. As from someone who is world weary and is ready for their ending rest with our Lord Jesus.

  1. Lord Jesus, think on me

and purge away my sin;

from earthborn passions set me free

and make me pure within.

  1. Lord Jesus, think on me,

with many a care oppressed;

let me Thy loving servant be

and taste Thy promised rest.

  1. Lord Jesus, think on me

Amid the battle’s strife;

In all my pain and misery

Be Thou my Health and Life.

  1. Lord Jesus, think on me

Nor let me go astray;

through darkness and perplexity

point Thou the heavenly way.

  1. Lord Jesus, think on me

When floods the tempest high;

When on doth rush the enemy,

O Savior, be Thou nigh!

  1. Lord Jesus, think on me

That, when the flood is past,

I may th’eternal brightness see

and share Thy joy at last.

  1. Lord Jesus, think on me

That I may sing above

To Father, Spirit, and to Thee

The strains of praise and love.

Here are some of my favorite Hymnals:

Presbyterian 1955 Hymnbook: http://amzn.to/2zSRdpL

Episcopal 1940 Hymnal: http://amzn.to/2DEOl1H 

Broadman 1940 Hymnal:  http://amzn.to/2C1WuwK

Methodist 1939 Hymnal:  http://amzn.to/2CfJ1Wq

Pilgrim 1935 Hymnal: http://amzn.to/2DDvbJC

Now Sings My Soul, New Songs for the Lord by: Linda Bonney Olin:  http://amzn.to/2DQ6gUy

Choice Hymns of the Faith 1945 http://amzn.to/2Dx97nA

Book of Psalms for Singing https://amzn.to/2ygM00b    (1912 Psalter is unavailable)

Here are my new projects:

Hymns Ancient and Modern https://amzn.to/3dfaHIY

J S Bach Riemenschneider 371 Harmonized Chorales  http://amzn.to/2DSy5f9


Dictionary of Hymnology:  http://amzn.to/2BxPabk

American Hymns Old and New https://amzn.to/3fqkkVU