Thursday, September 1, 2011

Hymns for the evening

I realized as I was biking home along the river that this (8:00 pm) is the earliest that I have left school all week. I also realized one more thing: I'm quite sleepy. I put a lot into this first week of school. Maybe more hours than I should have... then again, I don't regret it one bit--the year started as well as it could have, and now as my students start up on projects, my day-to-day prep eases significantly.

As I reflected on both my satisfaction with the past week and also my current state of weariness, I could not help but think of several old hymns that my dad would sing to me (and my siblings) while tucking us into bed when we were little. These songs provided me with immense comfort then, and tonight they served as a reminder that God is in control, even when we are exhausted at the end of the day. Naturally, I began to sing the songs out loud as I biked down the river, drawing stares from the several old folk who were out walking. Here are the words--may they be as much of an end-of-the-day blessing to you as they were/are to me:

"Now the Day is Over" by Sabine Baring-Gould
        1. Now the day is over,

Night is drawing nigh;
Shadows of the evening
Steal across the sky.

2. Jesus, give the weary
Calm and sweet repose;
With Thy tend'rest blessing
May mine eyelids close.

3. Grant to little children
Visions bright of Thee;
Guard the sailors tossing
On the deep-blue sea.

4. Comfort every sufferer
Watching late in pain;
Those who plan some evil
From their sin restrain.

5. When the morning wakens,
Then may we arise
Pure and fresh and sinless
In Thy holy eyes.

"Abide with Me" by Henry F. Lyte
  1. 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, oh, abide with me.
  2. 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.
  3. I need Thy presence every passing hour;
    What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
    Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
    Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
  4. I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
    Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
    Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
    I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.
  5. Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
    Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
    Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
    In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

"The Day you Gave us, LORD, has ended" by John Ellerton

1 The day you gave us, Lord, is ended,
the darkness falls at your request.
To you our morning hymns ascended;
your praise shall sanctify our rest.

2 We thank you that your church, unsleeping
while earth rolls onward into light,
through all the world her watch is keeping,
and never rests by day or night.

3 As over continent and island
each dawn leads to another day,
the voice of prayer is never silent,
nor do the praises die away.

4 So be it, Lord: your throne shall never,
like earth's proud kingdoms, pass away.
Your kingdom stands and grows forever,
until there dawns your glorious day.

"Gift of Finest Wheat" by Robert E. Kreutz


You satisfy the hungry heart with gift of finest wheat,

Come give to us, O saving Lord, the bread of life to eat.

1.As when the shepherd calls his sheep,

They know and heed his voice;

So when You call Your family, Lord,

We follow and rejoice.


2.With joyful lips we sing to You,

Our praise and gratitude,

That You should count us worthy Lord,

To share this heavenly food.


3. The mystery of Your presence Lord,

No mortal tongue can tell;

Whom all the world cannot contain

Comes in our hearts to dwell.


4. You give yourself to us, O Lord,

Then selfless let us be,

To serve each other in Your name

In truth and charity.

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