This article first appeared in the August 2019 issue of our parish magazine.
Like many of the pieces I write about in this blog, I was introduced to this song at a rehearsal of the Manchester Chorale. We were learning it for our summer concert programme in 2018. Imagine our pleasure when one of the Chorale members chose it as the bridal entry music for her wedding, and asked us to sing it for her. It was a gorgeous afternoon in late autumn and we were standing in Choral formation in front of the altar, facing the congregation. At the appointed time, the doors at the west end were opened, and there she was, backlit by sunlight and looking beautiful. We had the best view possible as she and her father walked down the centre aisle. It was a tough ask to keep singing whilst grinning and fending off happy tears!
The text for this beautiful song is adapted from Jeremiah 29:10-14, and is:
- I will come to you
- I will fulfill my promise
- To bring you home.
- For I know the plans I have for you.
- Plans to guide you, and keep you from harm.
- I will bring you a future filled with hope.
- And you will speak to me.
- To me you will call,
- And I will listen.
- I will sing to your heart.
- I will come to you.
Biblically, the meaning is clear. The Lord will seek us and gather us back to Him. He has plans for us and will keep us from harm. When we pray He listens. He calls us.
It is also a lovely sentiment for two young people pledging themselves to each other in matrimony. They are there together, for each other. They will care for and protect each other. They have hope-filled plans for the future. They speak to each other; they listen to each other.
I particularly like the line “I will sing to your heart”. I have seen a quotation (with multiple attributions): “To love someone is to learn the song in their heart and sing it to them when they forget”. God knows the song in each of our hearts. He put it there. He sings it to us when we forget, if only we choose to listen.
You can hear a recording of the North Dakota State University Concert Choir (Fairbairn’s Choir) singing “I Will Come To You” here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t2K9IQFxwVc