John Oxenham, 1852-1941

There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for ye are all one in Christ.
Galatians 3:28

One of the clear teachings of the Bible is that the gospel does not presuppose the superiority of any race or culture. In the past, missionary endeavor has too frequently imposed "our" culture on others while spreading the gospel, often putting native believers in bondage to another culture rather than focusing on Christ and the Scriptures alone.

Written in 1908 by the noted English writer, John Oxenham, this missionary hymn text was part of a script for a pageant at a giant missionary event sponsored by the London Missionary Society's exhibition, The Orient in London. It is estimated that over a quarter of a million people viewed this presentation. It was continued from 1908-1914 both in England and in the United States.

An interesting account of the impact of this hymn relates an incident during the closing days of World War II when two ships were anchored together, one containing Japanese aliens, and the other American soldiers, all waiting to be repatriated. For an entire day they lined the rails, glaring at one another. Suddenly someone began to sing "In Christ There is No East or West". Then another on the opposite ship joined in. Soon there was an extraordinary chorus of former enemies unitedly praising God with these words....

In Christ there is no East or West,
In Him no South or North,
But one great fellowship of love
Thru out the whole wide earth.

In Him shall true hearts ev'rywhere
Their high communion find;
His gospel is the golden cord
Close-binding all mankind.

Join hands then, brothers of the faith,
Whate'er your race may be;
Who knows the Father as His child
Is surely kin to me.

In Christ now meet both East and West,
In Him meet South and North;
Forgiv'n souls are one in Him
Throughout the whole wide earth.

*For Today*: Acts 10:34 & 35; Romans 9:1-5; Ephesians 4:3; Philippians 1:27; I Peter 3:8

Purpose to pray each day of the week for the work of the gospel in a different area of the world: Africa, China, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, Russia.... Perhaps this musical message will be a helpful reminder!

Music url: The Cyber Hymnal

Taken from Amazing Grace -- 366 Inspiring Hymn Stories for Daily Devotions Copyright 1990 by Kenneth W. Osbeck. Published by Kregel Publications, Grand Rapids, MI. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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