13th December 2020

It is with sadness but much thankfulness that we farewell Simon Sheely, who has been teaching youth and Sunday School on Sunday mornings here since 2017.  He has been a faithful servant and a great encouragement to me.  Simon begins his studies at Moore College next year and will be taking up a role as student minister at St Peter’s (in St Peter’s!).

And yes, it’s a big day, because this afternoon from 4 pm is Carols at St Jude’s. (Set up is from 2 pm.)  Keep praying that God gives us good weather and enables us to make great connections in the Randwick community.

During the week I came across a book of poems written by Rev. Dr Zachary Barry, the firebrand Irish evangelical who was rector of St Jude’s from 1865-68, and later became rector at St Matthias’ Centennial Park.  In amongst love poetry for his wife, and patriotic material (such as a verse thanking God for the Prince of Wales’ recovery from his illness), I found the following poem or possible hymn, based on Psalm 96.



God has called a fallen world

Bid the tribes and peoples come;

God has shed a beam of glory

For the nations’ darkest gloom.

Slaves of idols may be free then

Far the hopeful story wing

“Tell it out among the heathen

That the Lord is King.”

Who shall tell it? We have known it,

Known its power for love or peace,

Who should herald forth the pardon

Save the souls who feel its grace?

Gladly, heartily shall we then,

While rejoicing angels sing

“Tell it out among the heathen

That the Lord is King.”

We have hearts for home and friendship

None can part without a sigh,

But a million hearts are wanting

Dearer homes beyond the sky;

Ours the glorious mission be then

Thither weary souls to bring,

“Tell it out among the heathen

That the Lord is King.”

Home! A willing Saviour left it

Holding man’s relief more dear.

Home! His mission hath prepared us

Brighter than attracts us here;

Fear we not the rolling sea then,

Far beyond the billows fling

“Tell it out among the heathen

That the Lord is King.”

Mark, the scenes of earth are shifting

Past its Winter’s hopeless gloom,

God is many a cloud dispersing

Dormant flowers awake the bloom.

Patience! Courage! Bend the knee, then,

Pray and help the glorious Spring

“Tell it out among the heathen

That the Lord is King.”

Tell it out! For hearts are opening,

Vanquished dragons prostate fall;

Time is passing, soon the summons

Worlds before the Judge shall call,

Thousand nations saved as we, then

Loyal hearts to God shall bring,

Taught among the dying heathen

“That the Lord is King.”

—Rev. Zachary Barry


Notice the way he makes a line to rhyme with “heathen” in each verse.  You might think it is clever, or maybe too cute! The word “heathen” comes from Psalm 96:3 in the King James Version.  Although it has a bad sound about it today, originally it simply meant the foreign nations who had never heard of the one true God, the God of Israel.

The psalm rightly urges the people of God to proclaim his glory to those who have been in darkness.  Thankfully, ever since the coming of Jesus, this has been happening, and his Name is now known all around the globe.  But the task of making him known to the millions who have still never heard remains urgent.  I hope that this poem of an old St Jude’s rector might prompt you to pray for the work of God’s mission.