I've been going to a Methodist Church since my parents carried me through the doors of the small Byers church as an infant. (Click here to read about the closing service at the Byers UMC.)
By now, you'd think I'd have heard all the songs in the hymnal. But, just like most things, we gravitate toward the familiar. We sing the same songs, over and over. And there's some beauty in that. More than once, I've sung some of those songs in my head, a comfort in an uncomfortable setting, or a praise at an unexpected pleasure.
Of course, you can take a good thing too far. If you know me, you know I'm not a big fan of "How Great Thou Art." Yes, I know it's a favorite to many, and I've sung it for a whole lot of funerals. But, it seemed I heard nearly weekly renditions of the hymn as a child waiting for the preacher to arrive at his second pulpit in a three-point charge. "How Great Thou Art" ranks up there as a "too much of a good thing" for me.
When we were at Jill and Eric's church in Topeka a few weeks ago, one of the hymns was a new one to me. At Susanna Wesley UMC, they aren't singing aloud these days. If you're worshiping in person, you have to listen to a soloist sing the words. (It's another thing to hate about Covid-19. No offense to the soloist. I just like singing in church and now that I'm the pianist at my home church, I find fewer and fewer opportunities to sing hymns with others.) But I liked the song well enough that I sent a message to myself to look it up when I got home. It's found on Page 583, if you happen to have a UMC Hymnal sitting around.
We're on Month No. 7+ of a pandemic. We're a week away from a contentious election. These words seem to be good advice. And they also seemed to go with several photos I've accumulated in the past week or so -- plus a few from the archives.
|First snowfall of this fall/winter, October 26, 2020, wheat field|
You Are the Seed
UMC Hymnal, No. 583 - By Cesareo Gabarain
Translated from Spanish
You are the seed that will grow a new sprout
You're a star that will shine in the night.
You are the yeast and a small grain of salt,
A beacon to glow in the dark.
Proclaiming love to all
|Stained glass at chapel at Youthville, Newton, KS|
Messengers of my forgiving peace, eternal love.
You are the dawn that will bring a new day;
You are a sting and a soft, gentle touch.
From the dead I arose.
"Lo, I'll be with you forever,
till the end of the world."
You are the flame that will lighten the dark,
sending sparkles of hope, faith and love.
You are the shepherds to lead the whole world
through valleys and pastures of peace.
You are the friends that I chose for myself
the word that I want to proclaim.
You are the new kingdom built on a rock
where justice and truth always reign.
You are the life that will nurture the plant;
you're the waves in a turbulent sea;
Yesterday's yeast is beginning to rise,A new loaf of bread it will yield.
nor a mountain can cover its might.
May your good deeds show a world in despair
A path that will lead all to God.
I found this version on YouTube. (Sorry if any unsuitable ads come up as you're trying to play it. It seems to happen since I don't pay for a subscription.)