“May the Mind of Christ, My Savior”

"Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus" (Phil. 2:5)

     INTRO.: A hymn which exhorts us to let the mind be in us which was also in Christ Jesus is "May The Mind of Christ, My Savior" (#569 in Hymns for Worship Revised). The text was written by Kate Barclay Wilkinson, who was born on Aug. 27, 1859, at Woodlands Bank, Timperley in Cheshire, England. The daughter of a mechanical engineer, William Beckett Johnson, she married Frederick Barclay Wilkinson, a cashier, at St. John the Evangelist Anglican Church, Altrincham, Cheshire, in 1891.  Working with young women in west London, she was apparently actively involved in the Keswick Deeper Life Convention movement. Keswick is a market town and urban district in Cumberland, England. English poets Robert Southey and Samuel Taylor Coleridge lived there at Greta Hall.

     In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, Keswick was the site of a series of meetings designed to promote more devotion to Christ in the Church of England. Through the years several such movements have arisen to push for greater consecration to the Lord in various religious organizations. Of course, any attempt, whether by individual or group, to accomplish the aim of drawing closer to God’s will, must put great stress on learning and following the mind of Christ in the life of each person. The desire of all who wish to please the Lord should be that as they mature in the faith, their personality and character will take on more Christ-like qualities. This hymn must have been produced before 1913 because it evidently appeared in print as a poem that year.

     The tune (St. Leonards) was composed by Arthur Cyril Barnham-Gould (1891-1953). After attending Ridley Hall at Cambridge, he became an Anglican minister in 1927, serving All Souls’ Church at Langham Place from 1927 to 11929, Holy Trinity Church in Brompton from 1832 to 1936, and St. Paul’s Church at Onslow Square from 1936 to 1953. Text and tune were first published together in the 1925 Golden Bells Hymnal. Kate Wilkinson died just three years later, on Dec. 28, 1928, at Kensington in London, England. However, her hymn remains as an encouragement to prepare for both our worship on the Lord’s day and our daily living by seeking the mind of Christ in our hearts.

     Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the only one that I know of to include the song is Hymns of Worship Revised (not in the original edition). Other books in my collection to contain the hymn are the 1966 Crusader Hymns edited by Cliff Barrows; the 1968 Great Hymns of the Faith edited by John W. Peterson; the 1972 Living Hymns edited by Alfred B. Smith; the 1974 Hymns of the Living Church edited by Donald Hustad; the 1976 Hymns for the Family of God edited by Fred Bock; the 1979 Praise: Our Songs and Hymns edited by Norman Johnson; the 1987 Worship His Majesty edited by Fred Bock; the 1989 Worship the Lord edited by Lloyd A. Larsen; the 1990 Trinity Hymnal Revised edited by Lawrence C. Roff; the 1993 Sing to the Lord Hymnal edited by Ken Bible; the 1995 Rejoice Hymnal edited by Vernon M. Whaley; the 1997 Celebration Hymnal edited by Tom Fettke; the 2001 Worship and Rejoice edited by Scott A. Shorney; and the 2006 Christian Life Hymnal edited by Eric Wyse

     The song asks God to help us add to our lives various aspects of the will of Christ.

I. Stanza 1 teaches us that we need the mind of Christ
"May the mind of Christ, my Savior, Live in me from day to day,
By His love and power controlling All I do and say."
 A. We need the mind of Christ so that our minds can be renewed to do His will: Rom. 12.1-2
 B. Also, we need to seek the mind of Christ from day to day because we must take up our cross daily and follow Him: Lk. 9.23
 C. The result will be that by His love and power He will be controlling all we do and say so that others will see Christ living in us: Gal. 2.20

II. Stanza 2 teaches that we need the word of Christ dwelling in us
"May the Word of God dwell richly In my heart from hour to hour,
So that all may see I triumph Only through His power."
 A. The mind of Christ lives in us to the extent that His word dwells in us richly: Col. 3.16
 B. Thus, we need to have the word of Christ in us from hour to hour so that it is our meditation all the day: Ps. 119.97
 C. Only by allowing the word of Christ to dwell in us can we have the triumph that is in Christ by His power: 2 Cor. 2.14

III. Stanza 3 teaches that we need the peace of God ruling our hearts
"May the peace of God, my Father, Rule my life in everything,
That I may be calm to comfort Sick and sorrowing."
 A. As the result of the word of Christ dwelling in us, we can have the peace of God in our hearts: Phil. 4.7
 B. However, it is not enough just to have the peace of God; we need to let it rule our lives in everything: Col. 3:15
 C. The result will be that as we allow God’s peace to comfort us, we can in turn comfort others: 2 Cor. 1.3-4

IV. Stanza 4 teaches that we need the love of Jesus filling us
"May the love of Jesus fill me As the waters fill the sea;
Him exalting, self abasing, This is victory."
 A. When we live so that we are at peace with God, then His love is perfected in us: 1 Jn. 2.5
 B. When we understand this love, we will exalt Him and deny ourselves: Matt. 16.24
 C. Because of His love, we can have the victory that genuine faith brings: 1 Jn. 5.4

V. Stanza 5 teaches that we need strength from the Lord to face the foe
"May I run the race before me, Strong and brave to face the foe,
Looking only unto Jesus As I onward go."
 A. When the love of Jesus fills us, we will recognize that there is a race that we must run: 1 Cor. 9.24
 B. However, just as running a physical race requires one to be physically strong, so running the spiritual race requires one to be
spiritually strong to face whatever foes or obstacles that we might face: Eph. 6.10
 C. This strength comes from looking unto Jesus: Heb. 12.1

VI. Stanza 6 teaches that we need the beauty of Christ resting upon us
"May His beauty rest upon me, As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel, Seeing only Him."
 A. If we are strong in the Lord and in the power of His might, then our lives will be having the right kind of influence on others whom we meet: Matt. 5.16
 B. It should be our desire the lost to win, just as the one whom we follow came to seek and save the lost: Lk. 19.10
 C. In so doing, however, we must never preach ourselves but only Christ Jesus the Lord so that others see Christ in us, the hope of glory: 2 Cor. 4.5, Col. 1.27

     CONCL.: The six stanzas of the hymn were originally intended for each day of the week leading up to Sunday. However, every day we ought to ask ourselves the question, "What is the Christ-like way for handling this or that situation?" Therefore at all times I should be examining myself and asking the Lord, "May the Mind of Christ, my Savior" be in me.


3 thoughts on ““May the Mind of Christ, My Savior”

  1. Thanks for your comments on Mrs. Wilkinson's hymn. Today, as I write, is the 150th anniversary of her birth. Would you mind telling me the source for your information about the author. You have noted a couple of things that I haven't seen elsewhere.

  2. Well! I just registered! (Hope I did it correctly. Non-techie here!) I've been to your site many times, and always appreciated it. Today, as noted in my previous entry, I saw a few details about the elusive Kate Wilkinson that I haven't noted before. If you could tell me your source, I'd sure appreciate it. God bless.

  3. Off hand, I don't remember all the sources of information about Kate Wilkinson, but the three that I can recall are Kenneth Osbeck's "Amazing Grace," Donald Hustad's "Dictionary-Handbook to 'Hymns of the Living Church,'" and especially the Nethymnal.com website.


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