21 Nov 2021
Dear family in Christ
In line with our 2021 Missions month theme “Missio Dei – Ours also?”, I have selected a theme song entitled “So send I you”. This hymn has been called the greatest missionary hymn of the twentieth century.
This hymn was written by a Canadian school teacher Ms Margaret Clarkson in 1938 upon her scriptural reflection of John 20:21 “… as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” I have appended the historical background of this hymn below. May it bring encouragement and inspiration to your heart.
For those whom God is calling into the mission harvest field overseas, may you continue to discern God’s leading and calling in your life.
For all of us, may we respond to the Lord like Margaret Clarkson, “This is my mission field, and this is where He had sent me.”
This hymn, “So Send I You”, has been called the greatest missionary hymn of the twentieth century. The hymn has been labelled by many evangelical leaders as the finest missionary hymn of the twentieth century. It was first published in 1954, after having been written sixteen years earlier by a Canadian school teacher, Margaret Clarkson.
Margaret Clarkson, who was born in 1915, was a teacher in a gold-mining camp in northern Ontario, Canada. It was a lonely life for this woman, but she also knew that this is where God wanted her to serve Him. She had a great desire to be a missionary on a foreign field, but because of her health was unable to go. One day she was reading again the verse John 20:21, “Peace be unto you: as my Father hath sent me, even so send I you.” While meditating on this verse she wrote the words to a hymn that has become a favourite during missionary conferences, “So Send I You.”
“In 1935, teaching jobs were so scarce that I had to take my first job as a teacher in a lumber camp some 1400 miles from home, out in the Rainy River District of northwestern Ontario. From there I moved to the gold mining camp of Kirkland Lake, 450 miles north of Toronto. In all, I spent seven years in the north. I experienced loneliness of every kind; mental, cultural, but particularly spiritual, for in all of those seven years I never found real Christian fellowship – churches were modern and born-again Christians almost non-existent.
I was studying the Word one night and meditating on the loneliness of my situation and came in my reading to John 20, and the words ‘So send I you’. Because of a physical disability I knew that I could never go to the mission field, but God seemed to tell me that night that this was my mission field, and this was where He had sent me. I was then twenty-three, in my third year of teaching. I had written and published verse all of my life, so it was natural to put my thoughts into verse.”