"SITTING AT THE FEET OF JESUS"
"…Mary…sat at Jesus’ feet and heard His word" (Lk. 10.39)
INTRO.: A song which pictures the Christian sitting at the feet of Jesus and hearing His word as did Mary is "Sitting at the Feet of Jesus" (#60 in Sacred Selections for the Church). The text was written by K. C. Minter. I have been able to find no further information about it or the author. The tune was composed by J. W. Davis. I have also been able to find no further information about it or the composer. The song was owned by Minter and Davis but it seems that there is no information available about its background, date, or source of publication.
It is not to be confused with another song entitled "Sitting at the Feet of Jesus" with a text by J. H. (or J. H. T.) and tune by Asa Hull (the same used in our books with Mary D. James’s "All for Jesus! All for Jesus!").
1. "Sitting at the feet of Jesus, Oh, what words I hear Him say! Happy
place! so near, so precious! May it find me there each day.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus, I would look upon the past; For His love
has been so gracious. It has won my heart at last."
2. "Sitting at the feet of Jesus, Where can mortal be so blest? There I
lay my sins and sorrows And, when weary, find sweet rest.
Sitting at the feet of Jesus, There I love to weep and pray, While I from
His fullness gather Grace and comfort every day."
3. "Bless me, O my Savior, bless me, As I sit low at Thy feet. Oh, look
down in love upon me; Let me see Thy face so sweet.
Give me, Lord, the mind of Jesus; Make me holy as He is. May I prove
I’ve been with Jesus, Who is all my righteousness."
Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church during the twentieth century for use in churches of Christ, the Minter-Davis song appeared in the 1963 Abiding Hymns edited by Robert C. Welch. Today it is found, to my knowledge, only in Sacred Selections. The only other book that I have seen it in is the 1939 Favorite Songs and Hymns compiled by Homer F. Morris, Jr. R. Baxter, Jr., Virgil O. Stamps, and W. W. Combs for the Stamps-Baxter Music and Printing Co.
The song expresses some of the spiritual blessings available at Jesus’s feet.
I. Stanza 1 talks about sitting at His feet
"Sitting at the feet of Jesus, Watching, waiting every day;
Trusting in His grace and power, Safe to keep me all the way."
A. Being at the feet of Jesus symbolizes the idea of reverent submission to Him: Rev. 1.17
B. It is by taking our place at the feet of Jesus, spiritually speaking, that we can watch and pray lest we enter into temptation: Matt. 26.41
C. This shows that to keep us safe all the way we are trusting in His grace and power: Ps. 37.5
II. Stanza 2 talks about listening at His feet
"Listening at the feet of Jesus, His command to go or stay;
Trusting always in His wisdom, Safe to guide when I obey."
A. Mary was sitting at Jesus’s feet to listen to Him, and Jesus wants us to listen to His word today as it is found in the inspired scriptures: Matt. 13.14-16
B. The reason we need to listen is so that we can hear His commands to obey them: Jn. 14.15
C. It is by listening to and obeying the words of Jesus that we gain true wisdom, because His is our wisdom: 1 Cor. 1.30
III. Stanza 3 talks about seeking the feet of Jesus
"Seeking still the feet of Jesus, I would seek no other place;
For ’tis there I claim the promise Of the fullness of His grace."
A. Even though we cannot literally sit at Jesus’s feet as people who lived when He walked on earth did, we must still seek to learn of Him and to do His will: Isa. 55.6-7
B. It is only be seeking the feet of Jesus that we can claim the exceeding great and precious promises that He has made to us: 2 Pet. 1.3-4
C. One of these promises is that by seeking Him we can have the fullness of His grace: Jn. 1.16
IV. Stanza 4 talks about looking for hope at the feet of Jesus
"When the toils of life are over, When my race on earth is run,
May the evening shadows gathering Find me there when day is done."
A. Someday the toils of life will be over and the dead in Christ will rest from their labors: Rev. 14.13
B. This will take place when our race on earth is run and we have finished the course: 2 Tim. 4.6-8
C. It is the hope of the righteous that the evening shadows that bring death will find them ushered into the presence of God where they can sit at Jesus’s feet and dwell in the house of the Lord forever: Ps. 23.6
CONCL.: The chorus continues to emphasize how good and glorious it is to be at the feet of Jesus.
"Sitting at the feet of Jesus, Where I love to kneel and pray,
‘Til His goodness and His glory Drive the shadows from my way."
When we were small, we often sat at the feet of our parents when they told us stories. Sometimes we speak of listening to those who have taught us important lessons in life as "sitting at their feet." So, when we worship, when we study the scriptures, when we meditate upon the Lord’s will, and when we pray, we are, in a manner of speaking, "Sitting at the Feet of Jesus."