Skip to content

Forget the Channel: a name for this site

I’ve been thinking about naming this site for a while. The new name, Forget the Channel, is taken from the final verse of the hymn ‘May the Mind of Christ my Saviour’ by Kate Barclay Wilkinson (apparently written before 1913, published in 1925):

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

The idea is that the site is designed to contribute to the vital task of seeing people come to a saving trust in Jesus Christ. If it furthers that end, it’s achieved its aim. If all it does is make people appreciate Lionel Windsor more, then it’s failed.

The name was suggested by my very beautiful wife, Bronwyn. It’s actually a song we sang while standing together at the Mid Year Conference for Campus Bible Study (University of New South Wales) in 1997, less than a week before I asked her out. We remember the song, because I had to ask Bronwyn what the words ‘forget the channel’ meant, and she patiently explained it to me. We were married eleven months later.

The explanation:

The hymn “May the Mind of Christ my Saviour” is an extended prayer that explores various aspects of the Christian’s participation in Christ. The overarching idea is reflected in places like Galatians 2:20:

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Galatians 2:20

The controlling idea of this particular verse is evangelism:

May His beauty rest upon me,
As I seek the lost to win,
And may they forget the channel,
Seeing only Him.

May the Mind of Christ my Saviour

Participation in Christ involves sharing Christ’s salvation with others, i.e. seeking to win the lost to a saving faith in Christ. Evangelism always involves communication, i.e. the communication of the “beauty” of Christ’s person and work of salvation. Communication involves four things: a sender, a message, a communication channel or medium, and a recipient. In this case, Christ is the sender, his person and work is the message, the Christian is the communication channel, and the person hearing about Christ is the recipient.

There is a twofold prayer in this verse.

Firstly, because I as a Christian participate in Christ, I pray that Christ’s own beauty would “rest upon me”–i.e. I pray that I would be transformed to be beautiful because Christ is beautiful. That’s because my own “beauty”–my life as a Christian–is an important part of my evangelism.

However, there is a danger in all this, that people will simply praise my beautiful Christian life and not understand the thing that really matters, i.e. the message about Christ and the salvation that is in him.

So secondly, I pray that the recipient of my evangelism will look beyond my own beauty and see that it is really Christ’s beauty that is resting on me. That is, I pray that I will act as a good communication channel. A good communication channel doesn’t end up with people focussing on the channel, but the message. So I pray that even as I am transformed into Christ’s likeness, the lost person I am sharing the gospel with does not simply look at me–the channel–but rather understands the beauty of the sender (Christ) and the message (Christ). In this way, I pray that they will “forget the channel, seeing only Him.”

Published inBronwynGeneral

House of Windsor Editing Services

Bronwyn Windsor - House of Windsor Editing and Proofreading Services

Are you writing a thesis, book, academic article, resource, theological monograph, or anything else?

Bronwyn Windsor offers professional editing and proofreading services for writers. Press here to find out more: House of Windsor Editing Services

Publications by Lionel Windsor:

  • The Named Jew and the Name of God: A new reading of Romans 2:17–29

All posts

Recent blog posts

  • Shipwreck with rainbow in backgroundGrace in ministry: Avoiding the shipwreck (1 Timothy 1:12–20)
    "There was a widespread view expressed by participants that within [the church] culture there was an over-emphasis on sin and an under-emphasis on grace". The report describes how this grace problem permeated the culture. It affected membership commitment expectations, views of authority, pastoral care, and more. And yet, the thing is: Nobody would deny that this church believed in grace. They preached a conservative evangelical reformed doctrine of grace. But on the ground, in so many instances, grace was not a key feature of this church’s ministry and relationships—with disastrous results. Today I want us to grasp that in Christian ministry, grace can’t only be the content we preach. Grace also must permeate and transform everything about us personally. And I want to give some suggestions for things we can do even now in lockdown, to wage the warfare of grace. (a sermon)
  • Yes no“Paul within Judaism” and Romans 2:17–29
    My article on Romans 2:17–29 supports one key feature of the "Paul within Judaism" perspective, but undermines another common feature.
  • Photo by Engin Akyurt on UnsplashThe goals of Bible teaching (1 Timothy 1:1–11)
    In gospel ministry and Bible teaching, if you’re not committed to the right goal, or if you have the wrong goal, it’s not just a matter of being ineffective: you’ll be downright dangerous. So what is that goal? What are you seeking to achieve in your gospel ministry and Bible teaching - now and in the future? And how would you know if you’d done it right? This passage in 1 Timothy 1:1–11 speaks to this issue of the goals of ministry and teaching. It challenges us to think about our own aims in teaching, and to see how important it is to get it right. A sermon preached at Moore College Men's Chapel on 14 July, 2021.
  • Slow-burn crazy-making behaviours. Photo by Vadim Sadovski on UnsplashSlow-burn crazy-making behaviours: recognising and responding
    Do you know someone who seems to have drama and problems constantly appear around them? Whenever you relate to this person, perhaps you find yourself feeling vaguely guilty, or uncomfortable, or put down, or obligated to affirm them? Do you often feel like you’re questioning yourself and your actions because of what they say and do? You don’t feel the same way around other people; it’s just this individual who seems to attract these dramas and give rise to these feelings in you. If that’s the case, the chances are it’s not you who is the problem. It’s quite possible that the person you’re thinking of is exhibiting a pattern of behaviours that can be significantly detrimental to you and to others. This pattern of behaviours is hard to pin down; it doesn’t seem too serious in the short term, and indeed it might appear quite normal to a casual acquaintance. However, over the long term, it can cause serious problems for you and others. That’s especially true in close-knit communities, like families, churches and other Christian ministries.
  • Romans Crash CourseRomans Crash Course (video)
    A 75 minute video course in the Apostle Paul's letter to the Romans designed for church members and leaders.
  • The Mistranslation "Call Yourself a Jew" in Romans 2:17: A Mythbusting StoryThe mistranslation “call yourself a Jew”: A myth-busting story (Romans 2:17)
    This is a story about a scholarly myth and how I had the chance to bust it. I’m talking here about a small but significant 20th century biblical translation: “call yourself” instead of “are called” in Romans 2:17.
  • Breaking news: Religious Scandal in RomeThe named Jew and the name of God: A new reading of Romans 2:17–29
    I've just had an article published in the journal Novum Testamentum. In it, I provide a detailed defense of my new reading of Romans 2:17–29. This passage is not primarily about Jewish salvation - rather it's primarily about Jewish teaching and God's glory.
  • Photo by Joseph d'Mello on UnsplashPreaching the Pastoral Epistles
    A one-hour audio seminar with principles and ideas for preaching the biblical books 1 Timothy, 2 Timothy and Titus ("Pastoral Epistles")
  • A Crash Course in Romans: Livestream
    Here's a <90 minute "Crash Course in Romans" I'm running on Monday evening 1 Feb 2021. It's aimed at leaders and any interested members of my church St Augustine's Neutral Bay and Church by the Bridge Kirribilli. Anyone is welcome to watch the livestream.
  • Photo by Dmitry Ratushny on UnsplashWhat’s wrong with the world? Is there hope? (Ephesians)
    Guilt, weakness, spiritual slavery, prejudice, arrogance, tribalism, conflict, war, victimhood, persecution, pain, suffering, futility, ignorance, lying, deceit, anger, theft, greed, pornography, sexual sin, darkness, fear, drunkenness, substance abuse, domestic abuse, workplace abuse, spiritual powers... In Paul's letter to the Ephesians, he says many things about the problems we face in this world. He also gives us wonderful reasons to find life, hope and healing in Jesus Christ. Along the way, he provides practical teachings about how to respond and live together.

On this site

All content copyright Lionel Windsor