Tag Archives: comfort

Abide With Me; Fast Falls the Eventide

Abide with me: fast falls the eventide;
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide:
when other helpers fail and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with thee at hand to bless;
ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s dark sting? where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if thou abide with me.

Hold thou thy cross before my closing eyes;
shine through the gloom, and point me to the skies;
heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

Words: Henry Francis Lyte, 1847
Music: Eventide

This text of this hymn was inspired by Luke 24:29: “But they urged him strongly, saying, ‘Stay with us, because it is almost evening and the day is now nearly over.’ So he went in to stay with them.”

–From the album Favourite Hymns from Westminster Abbey, sung by the Westminster Abbey Choir.

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Filed under Hymns, New Testament

Comfort, Comfort Ye My People

The text of this hymn is based on Isaiah 40:1-11, in which Isaiah foretells the comforting of God’s people of the peace that waits for them in the new Jerusalem. Sins will be forgiven, wars will cease, the Kingdom of God will reign eternal!


(the words to this version are slightly different from what is provided below)

Comfort, comfort ye my people,
speak ye peace, thus saith our God;
comfort those who sit in darkness,
mourning ‘neath their sorrow’s load;
speak ye to Jerusalem
of the peace that waits for them;
tell her that her sins I cover,
and her warfare now is over.

For the herald’s voice is crying
in the desert far and near,
bidding all men to repentance,
since the kingdom now is here.
O that warning cry obey!
Now prepare for God a way!
Let the valleys rise to meet him,
and the hills bow down to greet him.

Make ye straight what long was crooked,
make the rougher places plain:
let your hearts be true and humble,
as befits his holy reign,
For the glory of the Lord
now o’er the earth is shed abroad,
and all flesh shall see the token
that his word is never broken.

Words: Johann G. Olearius, 1671;
trans. Catherine Winkworth, 1863

–From the album Praise the Spirit, sung by the Palmer Memorial Episcopal Church Choir

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Filed under Hebrew Bible, Hymns

In te, domine, speravi – Psalm 31:9-16

Have mercy on me, O LORD, for I am in trouble; *
my eye is consumed with sorrow,
and also my throat and my belly.

For my life is wasted with grief,
and my years with sighing; *
my strength fails me because of affliction,
and my bones are consumed.

I have become a reproach to all my enemies and even to my neighbors,
a dismay to those of my acquaintance; *
when they see me in the street they avoid me.

I am forgotten like a dead man, out of mind; *
I am as useless as a broken pot.

For I have heard the whispering of the crowd;
fear is all around; *
they put their heads together against me;
they plot to take my life.

But as for me, I have trusted in you, O LORD. *
I have said, “You are my God.

My times are in your hand; *
rescue me from the hand of my enemies,
and from those who persecute me.

Make your face to shine upon your servant, *
and in your loving-kindness save me.”

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Dear Lord and Father of Mankind

Thanks to my friend Jason for sharing this beautiful hymn with me. It is words like those in this hymn that remind us that God speaks to us in a myriad of ways, likely not in ways that we would expect God to speak to us. Let us tune our hearts to the sound of sheer silence, through which God may be speaking to us. The lyrics of this hymn are inspired by 1 Kings 19:11-12.

(The italicized lyrics below are not sung in this version)

Dear Lord and Father of mankind,
Forgive our foolish ways!
Reclothe us in our rightful mind,
In purer lives Thy service find,
In deeper reverence, praise.

In simple trust like theirs who heard
Beside the Syrian sea
The gracious calling of the Lord,
Let us, like them, without a word
Rise up and follow Thee.

O Sabbath rest by Galilee!
O calm of hills above,
Where Jesus knelt to share with Thee
The silence of eternity
Interpreted by love!

With that deep hush subduing all
Our words and works that drown
The tender whisper of Thy call,
As noiseless let Thy blessing fall
As fell Thy manna down.

Drop Thy still dews of quietness,
Till all our strivings cease;
Take from our souls the strain and stress,
And let our ordered lives confess
The beauty of Thy peace.

Breathe through the heats of our desire
Thy coolness and Thy balm;
Let sense be dumb, let flesh retire;
Speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire,
O still, small voice of calm!

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Filed under Hebrew Bible, Hymns, My Favorites, Videos

In te, Domine, speravi – Psalm 71:1-14

In you, O LORD, have I taken refuge; *
let me never be ashamed.

In your righteousness, deliver me and set me free; *
incline your ear to me and save me.

Be my strong rock, a castle to keep me safe; *
you are my crag and my stronghold.

Deliver me, my God, from the hand of the wicked, *
from the clutches of the evildoer and the oppressor.

For you are my hope, O Lord GOD, *
my confidence since I was young.

I have been sustained by you ever since I was born;
from my mother’s womb you have been my strength; *
my praise shall be always of you.

I have become a portent to many; *
but you are my refuge and my strength.

Let my mouth be full of your praise *
and your glory all the day long.

Do not cast me off in my old age; *
forsake me not when my strength fails.

For my enemies are talking against me, *
and those who lie in wait for my life take counsel together.

They say, “God has forsaken him;
go after him and seize him; *
because there is none who will save.”

O God, be not far from me; *
come quickly to help me, O my God.

Let those who set themselves against me be put to shame and be disgraced; *
let those who seek to do me evil be covered with scorn and reproach.

But I shall always wait in patience, *
and shall praise you more and more.

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Filed under Hebrew Bible, Psalms

Desiderata

I found this short prayer while perusing the books at a local thrift store, and bought it for 80¢ (this is one of many, many reasons why the move to electronic books saddens me…no more rummaging through piles of used books for sale). I opened the cover, and it had a note written inside from Christmas 1995 “Dearest Alex, This is a special little book to me. It was my inner strength during difficult times in my life. I hope the Desiderata will be as important to you. Treasure it — I love you, Julie”. I read the short book, and it spoke to me. I hope it also speaks to you.

Go placidly amid the noise and the haste,
and remember what peace there may be in silence.

As far as possible, without surrender,
be on good terms with all persons.
Speak your truth quietly and clearly;
and listen to others,
even to the dull and the ignorant;
they too have their story.
Avoid loud and aggressive persons;
they are vexatious to the spirit.

If you compare yourself with others,
you may become vain or bitter,
for always there will be greater and lesser persons than yourself.
Enjoy your achievements as well as your plans.
Keep interested in your own career, however humble;
it is a real possession in the changing fortunes of time.

Exercise caution in your business affairs,
for the world is full of trickery.
But let this not blind you to what virtue there is;
many persons strive for high ideals,
and everywhere life is full of heroism.
Be yourself. Especially do not feign affection.
Neither be cynical about love,
for in the face of all aridity and disenchantment,
it is as perennial as the grass.

Take kindly the counsel of the years,
gracefully surrendering the things of youth.
Nurture strength of spirit to shield you in sudden misfortune.
But do not distress yourself with dark imaginings.
Many fears are born of fatigue and loneliness.

Beyond a wholesome discipline,
be gentle with yourself.
You are a child of the universe
no less than the trees and the stars;
you have a right to be here.
And whether or not it is clear to you,
no doubt the universe is unfolding as it should.

Therefore be at peace with God,
whatever you conceive Him to be.
And whatever your labors and aspirations,
in the noisy confusion of life,
keep peace in your soul.

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams,
it is still a beautiful world.
Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

–By Max Ehrmann

(Desiderata (plural of desideratum): something that is needed or wanted.)

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Be Small Enough

Though I’m not really a fan of contemporary Christian music, I really like this song. Just listen to it. It’s amazing.

Be Small Enough, by Nicole Nordeman
(click here to open the audio file in a new window)

Oh, great God, be small enough to hear me now
There were times when I was crying
From the dark of Daniel’s den
And I have asked you once or twice
If you would part the sea again
But tonight I do not need a fiery pillar in the sky
Just wanna know you’re gonna hold me if I start to cry
Oh, great God, be small enough to hear me now

Oh, great God, be close enough to feel you now
There have been moments when I could not
Face Goliath on my own
And how could I forget we’ve marched around
Our share of Jerichos
But I will not be setting out a fleece for you tonight
Just wanna know that everything will be alright
Oh, great God, be close enough to feel you now

All praise and all honor be
To the God of ancient mysteries
Whose every sign and wonder turn the pages of our history
But tonight my heart is heavy
And I cannot keep from whispering this prayer
“Are you there?”

And I know you could leave writing on the wall
That’s just for me
Or send wisdom while I’m sleeping,
Like in Solomon’s sweet dreams
But I don’t need the strength of Samson
Or a chariot in the end
Just want to know that you still know how many hairs
Are on my head
Oh, great God, be small enough to hear me now

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