Saturday, August 27, 2011

In Tempests As They Blow

It's been raining here for the last few hours, with much more predicted to come overnight and into tomorrow. Hurricane Irene has already caused death and destruction with more to come, probably, as it approaches New York City. Many churches in the Northeast have cancelled services tomorrow as the storm is predicted to be at its height during the morning hours, so don't forget to pray for those affected as you worship tomorrow in other places.

Looking around the internet today I came upon
this blog post from several years ago by the Reverend Scott Wells, a Christian Universalist minister who writes at Boy in the Bands. I had been thinking about Eternal Father, strong to save but it wasn't exactly what I wanted. This, too, isn't quite what we might sing today but it has some interesting ideas (I especially like the final stanza). Given that the East Coast felt an earthquake this week too (small though it was), the first line of the second stanza jumped out at me too.

Amid surrounding gloom and waste,
From nature’s face we flee;
And in our fear and wonder haste,
O nature’s Life, to thee!
Thy ways are in the mighty deep;
In tempests as they blow;
In floods that o’er our treasures sweep;
In lightning and the snow.

Though earth upon its axis reels,
And heaven is veiled in wrath;
Not one of nature’s milling wheels
Breaks its appointed path;
Fixed in thy grasp, the sources meet
Of beauty and of awe;
In storm or calm, all pulses beat
True to the central Law.

Thou art that Law, whose will be done,
In seeming wreck or blight,
Sends the calm planets round the sun,
And pours the moon’s soft light.
We trust thy love; thou best dost know
The universal peace;
How long the stormy force should blow,
And when the flood shall cease.

And though our path around some form
Of mystery ever lies,
And life is like the calm and storm
That checker earth and skies
Through all its mingling joy and dread,
Permit us, Holy One,
By faith to see the golden thread
Of thy great purpose done.

Edwin Hubble Chapin, 1871
Thomas Tallis, 16th cent.

Universalist minister Edwin Hubble Chapin was one of the editors of Hymns of Christian Devotion (1871), where some of his other hymn texts appeared with this one.

Two Years Ago: Thomas Gallaudet

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