"LORD, SEND ME"
"…Here am I; send me" (Isa. 6.8)
INTRO.: A hymn which shows that one aspect of our work as Christians is to be willing to go on whatever mission the Lord sends us is "Lord, Send Me" (#81 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written and the tune was composed both by M. W. Spencer. I have been able to find no other information about him or the song, except that it was copyrighted in 1893 by John McPherson. Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the song appeared in the 1943 Standard Gospel Hymns and the 1965 Great Christian Hymnal No. 2 both edited by Tillit S. Teddlie; the 1938/1944 (New) Wonderful Songs edited by Thomas S. Cobb; the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch; and the 1978 Hymns of Praise edited by Reuel Lemmons. Today it may be found in the 1971 Songs of the Church and the 1990 Songs of the Church 21st C. Ed. both edited by Alton H. Howard; and the 1992 Praise for the Lord edited by John P. Wiegand; as well as Sacred Selections and the 2007 Sacred Songs of the Church edited by William D. Jeffcoat.
The song encourages us to seek to be busy in the Lord’s work.
I. Stanza 1 speaks of the need for reapers
"There is much to do; there’s work on every hand.
Hark! the cry for help comes ringing through the land.
Jesus calls for reapers; I must active be.
What wilt Thou, O Master? Here am I, send me."
A. Certainly, there is work on every hand, and we need to be abounding in His work: 1 Cor. 15.58
B. Even today, the cry for help comes ringing through the land, just as Paul saw in a vision a man of Macedonia saying, "Help us": Acts 16.6-10
C. Jesus wants reapers to bring in the harvest: Matt. 9.37-38
II. Stanza 2 speaks of the need for rest
"There’s the plaintive cry of mourning souls distressed,
And the sigh of hearts who seek but find no rest.
These should have my love and tender sympathy;
Ready at Thy bidding, here am I, send me."
A. Souls who are mourning and distressed because of sin need comfort: Matt. 5.4
B. However, true peace and rest can be found only by coming to Jesus Christ: Matt. 11.28-30
C. Such souls should have our tender love and sympathy which we show by telling them about the death of Jesus for their sins: Rom. 5.7-8
III. Stanza 3 speaks of the need for bread
"There are hungering souls who cry aloud for bread;
With the bread of life they’re longing to be fed.
Shall they starve and famish while a feast is free?
I must be more faithful; here am I, send me."
A. Jesus Christ is the bread of the world: Jn. 6.41-51
B. Souls who are hungering and thirsting after righteousness want to be filled with such bread: Matt. 5.6
C. There is no reason for them to starve and famish while a feast is free, so we need to be more faithful in telling them that all things are ready for them to come to the feast: Lk. 14.16-17
IV. Stanza 4 speaks of the need to turn and flee
"There are souls who linger on the brink of woe;
Lord, I must not, cannot bear to let them go.
Let me go and tell them, ‘Brother, turn and flee.’
Master, I would save them; here am I, send me."
A. All have sinned, and such souls in sin are on the brink of woe: Rom. 3.23, 6.23
B. Those who seek to be faithful cannot bear to let them go, so they recognize the need to teach others also: 2 Tim. 2.2
C. Teaching others also involves telling them to turn or be converted, and flee from the wrath to come: Acts 3.19
CONCL.: The chorus continues to remind us of the kind of attitude that God expects of His people.
"Here am I; Lord, send me.
Here am I; Ready at Thy bidding, Lord send me."
Some have objected to this song as picturing the Christian sitting around and waiting for a direct revelation of the Lord to "send him," but this is not necessarily so. It can be understood as simply asking the Lord to help open for us doors of opportunity to teach others. In our work for the Savior, every child of God should have the attitude, "Lord, Send Me."