He Carried My Sorrows


(picture of Glenda B. Schales)


“Surely He has borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows” (Isa. 53:4)

     INTRO.:  A song which refers to how Jesus has borne our griefs is “He Carried My Sorrows” (#671 in Hymns for Worship Revised).  The text was written and the tune was composed both by Glenda Sue Barnhart Schales, who was born on Mar. 15, 1949, to Glen and Evelyn Barnhart, raised in Arizona, and has resided in Texas most of her life.  After graduating in 1969 with an A.A. from Florida College in Temple Terrace, FL, she married Larry Schales, and they had three children, Robert, Joella, and Katrina.  When I was a student at Florida College from 1972 to 1974, I had her father as my English professor and her youngest sister Nancy (now Raif) as a classmate.  Glenda’s background is in music education, and she has taught as a Music Educator for many years in public schools of the Klein ISD at Spring, TX, in the Houston area. She attends the Kleinwood church of Christ in Spring where she is active in teaching children, especially in writing and composing songs designed to teach Bible themes, characters, and events.

In addition, Glenda is well known for hymns and gospel songs such as “He Is in Our Midst,” “Quiet Joy,” “We Bow Down in Reverence,” “It’s Time to Build,” and “The Blessed Life,” and many of them have been included in various publications such as hymnals and congregational supplement books.  Also, she is part of the faculty at the annual R. J. Stevens Singing School held on the campus of Eastern Oklahoma State College in Wilburton, OK, where she teaches a class involving children and their parents which includes learning music as well as the Bible through new songs and activities, and conducts a special women’s class involving the fundamentals of music and sight singing.  The Singing School has benefited from the talents and devotion of Glenda for many years. The arrangement for “He Carried My Sorrows” was made by R. J. Stevens (1927-2012).  The song was copyrighted in 1993 and first published in Hymns for Worship Revised.

In earlier editions of Hymns for Worship, the song at this opening (#589) was “The Spacious Firmament On High.”  The text, based on Psa. 19, was written by Joseph Addison (1672-1719).  It was first published in 1712 in his magazine The Spectator.  The tune (Creation) was composed by Franz Joseph Haydn (1732-1809; see #143).  It is an adaption of parts of the chorus, “The heavens are telling,” from his 1798 oratorio The Creation.  The arrangement was made by William Gardiner (1770-1853).  It was first used with Addison’s text in his Sacred Melodies from Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven published at London, England, in 1812.  Among hymnbooks published by members of the Lord’s church for use in churches of Christ, “He Carried My Sorrows” has appeared in the 1998 Hymn Supplement: Let the Whole Creation Cry “Alleluia!” published by the Columbia Hymn Association, the 1999 Into Our Hands: Songs for the Church edited by Leland R. Fleming, and the 2012 Psalms, Hymns, and Spiritual Songs edited by Steve Wolfgang et. al.; in addition to Hymns for Worship (not in the original edition).

The song reminds us of the suffering and anguish that Jesus experienced for us.

I. Stanza 1 mentions our transgression

He carried my sorrows,

He bore my griefs,

Was pierced for transgression,

Afflicted for peace.

  1. We know that the prophecy of Isa. 53 refers to Jesus: Acts 8:32-35
  2. The reason why Jesus had to suffer was because of our transgression: 1 Jn. 3:4 (lawlessness=transgression of the law)
  3. As a result, He was able to make peace: Eph. 2:14-18

II. Stanza 2 mentions His suffering

He suffered in anguish,

He writhed in pain,

Was smitten, forsaken,

Abandoned, and slain.

  1. Peter reminds us that Christ suffered for sins, the just for the unjust: 1 Pet. 3:18
  2. This suffering involved being smitten or struck: Matt. 26:67, 27:30
  3. In addition, His suffering was compounded by being abandoned as all His disciples forsook Him and fled: Matt. 26:56

III. Stanza 3 mentions His rejection

Despised and rejected,

He knew no sin,

Was crushed for His people,

No violence within.

  1. Christ was despised and rejected in that He came to His own and His own received Him not: Jn. 1:11
  2. He Himself knew no sin: Heb. 4:15
  3. Yet, He was crushed or died for us: Rom. 5:8

IV. Stanza 4 mentions our reaction

My heart mourns His chastening,

My tears still fall,

My sin is the reason

He gave me His all.

  1. Our hearts mourn for His chastisement: Isa. 53:5
  2. Our tears fall as we remember His suffering: Heb. 5:7-8
  3. Again, the reason for this treatment is that Christ died for our sins: 1 Cor. 15:3

CONCL.: The chorus again emphasizes why Jesus suffered and then points out the results.

He knew by His stripes I am healed,

Through His blood, I can kneel,

For by His oppression,

I worship my King.

As one who has been redeemed by the blood of Christ, every day I need to remember that “He Carried My Sorrows.”


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