By Pastor Mike Gudka St. Paul United Methodist Church
My articles for this month have been a little different than what I have done in the past. For these articles I am looking at the history behind some of the great old hymns that many have come to know and love. Many of these hymns have an interesting past; they come from many different people and church denominations, and help tell a powerful story of what we believe. They can comfort us, bring back strong memories, and help us draw closer to Christ.
This week I am going to look at the wonderful hymn “We Gather Together.” This is actually a Netherlands folk hymn from the sixteenth century. Interestingly enough, it was originally written in celebration of Dutch independence from Spain. And with this in mind, it can bring new light to what the author originally meant in the phrase “The wicked oppressing,” and “So from the beginning the fight, we were winning”, and in the final phrase “O Lord, make us free.”
Here in the US, we tend to associate this hymn with Thanksgiving as we sing, “We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing; he chastens and hastens his will to make known. The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing. Sing praises to his name; he forgets not his own.”topics/privacy-identity.