Monday, July 31, 2023

MInd-blowing thought

I'm currently copyediting a commentary on Leviticus (not scheduled for publication until late 2024) and ran across this on Thursday, which blew my mind. I'm still processing it. I thought I had blogged it last week, but was looking through my miscellaneous notes and saw it.
Never in Scripture do we find that God sanctifies space. Although the world is his creation, he does not hallow it.—Jacob Milgrom, Leviticus 23–27: A New Translation with Introduction and Commentary, 1962
I did a bit of digging, and a few scholars reference it, all apparently approvingly. I haven't (yet) found any disagreement, but I'd love to access the full Anchor Bible volume to get the rest of the context. Alas, Google books only allows search inside, but I did just discover that the Internet Archive has a copy I can check out for an hour. I'll have to do some digging…

Saviour, breathe an evening blessing

50 Evening Prayer 8. 7. 8. 7.

1 Saviour, breathe an evening blessing
   Ere repose our spirits seal;
   Sin and want we come confessing,
   Thou canst save and Thou canst heal.

2 Though destruction walk around us,
   Though the arrows past us fly,
   Angel guards from Thee surround us;
   We are safe if Thou art nigh.

3 Though the night be dark and dreary,
   Darkness cannot hide from Thee;
   Thou are He who, never weary,
   Watchest where Thy people be.

4 Should swift death this night o'ertake us,
   And our couch become our tomb,
   May the morn in heaven awake us,
   Clad in bright and deathless bloom.
                         James Edmeston
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

Sunday, July 30, 2023

Stand up and bless the Lord

39 Old 134th (St. Michael). S. M.

1 Stand up, and bless the Lord,
   ye people of His choice;
   stand up, and bless the Lord your God
   with heart, and soul, and voice.

2 Though high above all praise,
   above all blessing high,
   who would not fear His holy Name,
   and laud and magnify?

3 O for the living flame,
   from His own altar brought,
   to touch our lips, our minds inspire,
   and wing to heav'n our thought!

4 God is our strength and song,
   and His salvation ours;
   then be His love in Christ proclaimed
   with all our ransomed pow'rs.

5 Stand up and bless the Lord,
   the Lord your God adore;
   stand up, and bless His glorious Name
   henceforth for evermore.
                         James Montgomery
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing>
I recall this as an opening hymn, a nice rousing beginning. In the Methodist church, the opening processional has all the congregation stand, so it's a fitting hymn. adds another verse as verse 4:

4 There, with benign regard,
   our hymns He deigns to hear;
   though unrevealed to mortal sense,
   the spirit feels Him near.
</idle musing>

Saturday, July 29, 2023

Awake, my soul!

34 The Morning Watch L.M.

1 Awake, my soul, and with the sun
   thy daily stage of duty run;
   shake off dull sloth, and early rise
   to pay thy morning sacrifice.

2 Lord, I my vows to Thee renew.
   Disperse my sins as morning dew;
   guard my first springs of thought and will;
   and with Thyself my spirit fill.

3 Direct, control, suggest, this day,
   all I design or do or say,
   that all my pow'rs, with all their might,
   in Thy sole glory may unite.

4 Praise God, from whom all blessings flow;
   praise Him all creatures here below;
   praise Him above, ye heav'enly host;
   praise Father, Son, and Holy Ghost.
                         Thomas Ken
                        The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing>
You should read his biography that I link to at; he did some pretty daring stuff in the face of royalty—even being imprisoned in the tower of London at one point! This particular hymn is the one known as the morning hymn. There's an interesting little note at the end of the first biography at

Ken wrote many hymns, which were published posthumously in 1721 and republished in 1868 as Bishop Ken's Christian Year, or Hymns and Poems for the Holy Days and Festivals of the Church. But he is best known for his morning, evening, and midnight hymns, each of which have as their final stanza the famous doxology “Praise God, from Whom All Blessings Flow.”
</idle musing>

Friday, July 28, 2023

May our souls find rest in thee

33 Trust. 8. 7. 8. 7.

1 Come, O Lord, like morning sunlight,
   Making all life new and free;
   For the daily task and challenge
   May we rise renewed in Thee.

2 Come, O Lord, like ocean flood-tides,
   Flowing inland from the sea;
   As the waters fill the shallows,
   May our souls be filled with Thee.

3 Come, O Lord, like mountain breezes,
   Freshening life in vale and lea;
   In the heat and stress of duty
   May our souls find strength in Thee.

4 Come, O Lord, like evening twilight,
   Bringing peace on land and sea;
   At the radiant close of labor
   May our souls find rest in Thee.
                         Martin S. Littlefield
                        The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

Thursday, July 27, 2023

When morning gilds the skies

31 Laudes Domini 6. 6. 6. 6. 6. 6.

1. When morning gilds the skies
   my heart awaking cries:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   Alike at work and prayer,
   to Jesus I repair:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

2. Whene’er the sweet church bell
   peals over hill and dell,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   O hark to what it sings,
   as joyously it rings,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

3. The night becomes as day
   when from the heart we say:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   The powers of darkness fear
   when this sweet chant they hear:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

4. Ye nations of mankind,
   in this your concord find,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   let all the earth around
   ring joyous with the sound
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

5. In Heav’n’s eternal bliss
   the loveliest strain is this,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   Let earth, and sea and sky
   from depth to height reply,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

6. Be this, while life is mine,
   my canticle divine:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   Sing this eternal song
   through all the ages long:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
                         Anonymous German hymn
                         Translated by Edward Caswall
The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing>
Rarely have I run across a hymn with as many variations as this one! According to, Cyberhymnal has 15 verses! And of those, the Methodist hymnal's verse 4 isn't to be found! Here are the verses that the Methodist hymnal doesn't include:

2. When you begin the day,
   O never fail to say,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   And at your work rejoice,
   to sing with heart and voice,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

4. My tongue shall never tire
   of chanting with the choir,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   This song of sacred joy,
   it never seems to cloy,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

5. Does sadness fill my mind?
   A solace here I find,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   Or fades my earthly bliss?
   My comfort still is this,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

6. To God, the Word, on high,
   the host of angels cry,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   Let mortals, too, upraise
   their voice in hymns of praise,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

7. Be this at meals your grace,
   in every time and place;
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   Be this, when day is past,
   of all your thoughts the last
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

8. When mirth for music longs,
   this is my song of songs:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   When evening shadows fall,
   this rings my curfew call,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

9. When sleep her balm denies,
   my silent spirit sighs,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   When evil thoughts molest,
   with this I shield my breast,
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

11. No lovelier antiphon
   in all high Heav’n is known
   Than, Jesus Christ be praised!
   There to the eternal Word
   the eternal psalm is heard:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

12. Let all the earth around
   ring joyous with the sound:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!
   In Heaven’s eternal bliss
   the loveliest strain is this:
   May Jesus Christ be praised!

13. Sing, suns and stars of space,
   sing, ye that see His face,
   Sing, Jesus Christ be praised!
   God’s whole creation o’er,
   for aye and evermore
   Shall Jesus Christ be praised!

</idle musing>

Wednesday, July 26, 2023

May the grace of Christ our savior

27 Sardis. 8. 7. 8. 7.

1. May the grace of Christ our Savior
   and the Father's boundless love
   with the Holy Spirit's favor
   rest upon us from above.

2. Thus may we abide in union
   with each other and the Lord,
   and possess in sweet communion
   joys which earth cannot afford.
                         John Newton
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

Tuesday, July 25, 2023

Tozer for Tuesday

Always remember that in the Bible the truth is never to be discovered by saying, “It is written,” but by saying, “It is Written and again it is written.” Truth is never found in only one verse; truth is found in one verse plus another verse plus another verse plus another verse until the whole truth of God lies before you. If you take only one verse and make that to be supreme, and crowd out everything else, you can teach any crazy kind of doctrine in the world.—A.W. Tozer, Living as a Christian, 145

<idle musing>
Ain't that the truth! : (

There's some pretty crazy stuff out there, and this is one of the reasons—they just find a good prooftext and off they run.
</idle musing>

Jesus, where'er Thy people meet

24 Malvern. L. M.

1. Jesus, where’er Thy people meet,
   There they behold Thy mercy seat;
   Where’er they seek Thee Thou art found,
   And every place is hallowed ground.

2. For Thou, within no walls confined,
   Inhabitest the humble mind;
   Such ever bring Thee, where they come,
   And, going, take Thee to their home.

3. Dear Shepherd of Thy chosen few,
   Thy former mercies here renew;
   Here, to our waiting hearts, proclaim
   The sweetness of Thy saving name.

4. Here may we prove the power of prayer
   To strengthen faith and sweeten care;
   To teach our faint desires to rise,
   And bring all Heav’n before our eyes.
                        William Cowper
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing> says that the Cyberhymnal adds two more verses:

5. Behold at Thy commanding word,
   We stretch the curtain and the cord;
   Come Thou, and fill this wider space,
   And bless us with a large increase.

6. Lord, we are few, but Thou art near;
   Nor short Thine arm, nor deaf Thine ear;
   O rend the heavens, come quickly down,
   And make a thousand hearts Thine own!

</idle musing>

Monday, July 24, 2023

Come, sound his praise abroad!

22 Silver Street. S. M.

1 COME, sound His praise abroad.
   And hymns of glory sing!
   Jehovah is the sovereign God,
   The universal King!

2 He formed the deeps unknown;
   He gave the seas their bound:
   The wat’ry worlds are all His own,
   And all the solid ground.

3 Come, worship at His throne,
   Come, bow before the Lord,
   We are His work, and not our own,
   He formed us by His word.

4 To-day attend His voice,
   Nor dare provoke His rod;
   Come, like the people of His choice,
   And own your gracious God.
                         Isaac Watts
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

Sunday, July 23, 2023

We gather together

20 Kremser. Irregular

1 We gather together to ask the Lord's blessing;
   He chastens and hastens His will to make known;
   the wicked oppressing now cease from distressing;
   sing praises to His Name, He forgets not His own.

2 Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
   ordaining, maintaining His kingdom divine;
   so from the beginning the fight we were winning:
   Thou, Lord wast at our side—the glory be Thine!

3 We all do extol Thee, Thou leader triumphant,
   and pray that Thou still our defender wilt be.
   Let Thy congregation escape tribulation;
   Thy Name be ever praised; O Lord, make us free!
                         Translated by Theodore Baker
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

Saturday, July 22, 2023

For the beauty of the earth

18 Dix. 7. 7. 7. 7. 7. 7.

1 For the beauty of the earth,
   for the glory of the skies,
   for the love which from our birth
   over and around us lies:

Refrain: Christ, our Lord, to you we raise
this, our hymn of grateful praise.

2 For the beauty of each hour
   of the day and of the night,
   hill and vale and tree and flower,
   sun and moon and stars of light: [Refrain]

3 For the joy of ear and eye,
   for the heart and mind's delight,
   for the mystic harmony
   linking sense and sound and sight: [Refrain]

4 For the joy of human love,
   brother, sister, parent, child,
   friends on earth, and friends above,
   for all gentle thoughts and mild: [Refrain]

5 For Thy church that evermore
   lifeth holy hands above,
   Offering up on every shore
   her pure sacrifice of love: [Refrain]

6 For yourself, best gift divine!
   To the race so freely given:
   For that great, great love of Thine,
   peace on earth and joy in heaven! [Refrain]
                         Folliott S. Pierpoint
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing>
Wow. has so many variations on this one. Some changes are obvious why they happened, such as in verse 6, where "race" is changed "world," but others just don't make sense. Oh well. I guess once it leaves copyright and is a popular hymn, editors just can't keep their hands off of stuff.

Be that as it may, this is the version I grew singing : )
</idle musing>

Friday, July 21, 2023

Why settle for less?

Made for spirituality, we wallow in introspection. Made for joy, we settle for pleasure. Made for justice, we clamor for vengeance. Made for relationship, we insist on our own way. Made for beauty, we are satisfied with sentiment. But new creation has already begun. The sun has begun to rise. Christians are called to leave behind, in the tomb of Jesus Christ, all that belongs to the brokenness and incompleteness of the present world. It is time, in the power of the Spirit, to take up our proper role, our fully human role, as agents, heralds, and stewards of the new day that is dawning. That, quite simply, is what it means to be Christian: to follow Jesus Christ into the new world, God’s new world, which he has thrown open before us.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 237

<idle musing>
That's the final excerpt from this book. I hope you enjoyed it enough to either buy a copy or borrow one.

I'm going on a bike trip this weekend with our son and his oldest son, so I'm not sure I'll have time to start a new one on Monday…
</idle musing>

From all that dwell below the skies

17 Duke Street. L. M.

1 From all that dwell below the skies,
   Let the Creator's praise arise;
   Let the Redeemer's name be sung,
   Through ev'ry land, by ev'ry tongue.

2 In ev'ry land begin the song;
   To ev'ry land the strains belong;
   In cheerful sounds all voices raise,
   And fill the world with loudest praise.

3 Your lofty themes, all mortals, bring;
   In songs of praise divinely sing;
   The great salvation loud proclaim,
   And shout for joy the Savior's name.

4 Eternal are your mercies, Lord;
   Eternal truth attends your word;
   Your praise shall sound from shore to shore,
   Till suns shall rise and set no more.
                         Isaac Watts
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

Thursday, July 20, 2023

The why of Christian sexual ethics

Christian sexual ethics, in other words, isn’t simply a collection of old rules which we are now free to set aside because we know better (the danger within Option Two). Nor can we appeal against the New Testament by saying that whatever desires we find inside our deepest selves must be God-given (the natural assumption within Option One). Jesus was quite clear about that. Yes, God knows our deepest desires; but the famous old prayer which (tremblingly) acknowledges that fact doesn’t go on to imply that this means they are therefore to be fulfilled and carried out as they stand, but rather that they need cleansing and healing:
Almighty God, to Whom all hearts are open, all desires known, and from Whom no secrets are hidden: Cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of your Holy Spirit, that we may perfectly love you, and worthily magnify your holy name; through Christ our Lord.Amen.
Another famous old prayer puts it even more sharply:
Almighty God, who alone can bring order to the unruly wills and passions of sinful humanity: Give your people grace so to love what you command and to desire what you promise, that, among the many changes of this world, our hearts may surely there be fixed, where true joys are to be found; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
We have lived for too long in a world, and tragically even in a church, where this prayer has become reversed: where the wills and affections of human beings are regarded as sacrosanct as they stand, where God is required to command what we already love and to promise what we already desire. The implicit religion of many people today is simply to discover who they really are and then try to live it out—which is, as many have discovered, a recipe for chaotic, disjointed, and dysfunctional humanness. The logic of cross and resurrection, of the new creation which gives shape to all truly Christian living, points in a different direction. And one of the central names for that direction is joy: the joy of relationships healed as well as enhanced, the joy of belonging to the new creation, of finding not what we already had but what God was longing to give us. At the heart of the Christian ethic is humility; at the heart of its parodies, pride. Different roads with different destinations, and the destinations color the character of those who travel by them.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 233–34

Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee

12 Hymn to Joy. 8. 7. 8. 7. D.

1 Joyful, joyful, we adore Thee,
   God of glory, Lord of love;
   Hearts unfold like flow'rs before Thee,
   Op'ning to the sun above.
   Melt the clouds of sin and sadness;
   Drive the dark of doubt away;
   Giver of immortal gladness,
   Fill us with the light of day!

2 All Thy works with joy surround Thee,
   Earth and heav'n reflect Thy rays,
   Stars and angels sing around Thee,
   Center of unbroken praise;
   Field and forest, vale and mountain,
   Flow'ry meadow, flashing sea,
   Chanting bird and flowing fountain
   Call us to rejoice in Thee!

3 Always giving and forgiving,
   Ever blessing, ever blest,
   Well-spring of the joy of living,
   Ocean-depth of happy rest!
   Thou our Father, Christ our Brother,
   All who live in love are Thine
   Teach us how to love each other,
   Lift us to the joy divine.

4 Mortals, join the mighty chorus,
   Which the morning stars began;
   Father love is reigning o’er us,
   Brother love binds man to man.
   Ever singing, march we onward,
   Victors in the midst of strife;
   Joyful music leads us sunward
   In the triumph song of life.
                         Henry van Dyke
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

Wednesday, July 19, 2023

Ain't it the truth! : (

Throughout the early centuries of Christianity, when every kind of sexual behavior ever known to the human race was widely practiced throughout ancient Greek and Roman society, the Christians, like the Jews, insisted that sexual activity was to be restricted to the marriage of a man and a woman. The rest of the world, then as now, thought they were mad. The difference, alas, is that today half the church seems to think so, too.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 232

<idle musing>
I admit, I laugh when people tell me how sexually debased the US is. Sure, it's not a moral citadel, but if you read (especially) Greek history … well, in comparison we are a moral citadel! Of course, that's not to justify it!

But, as Wright says, what is different is that too many in the church have decided that scripture is wrong and society is correct. That is new and, well, to my mind, wrong. Amos's vision of the plumb line (Amos 7:8–9) comes to mind, as does his intercessory prayer (Amos 7:2, 5). That's been my prayer for over ten years now, that YHWH would relent.
</idle musing>

Now thank we all our God

7 Nun Danket. 6. 7. 6. 7. 6. 6. 6. 6.

1 Now thank we all our God
   with heart and hands and voices,
   who wondrous things has done,
   in whom his world rejoices;
   who from our mothers' arms
   has blessed us on our way
   with countless gifts of love,
   and still is ours today.

2 O may this bounteous God
   through all our life be near us,
   with ever joyful hearts
   and blessed peace to cheer us,
   to keep us in his grace,
   and guide us when perplexed,
   and free us from all ills
   of this world in the next.

3 All praise and thanks to God
   the Father now be given,
   the Son and Spirit blest,
   who reign in highest heaven
   the one eternal God,
   whom heaven and earth adore;
   for thus it was, is now,
   and shall be evermore.
                         Martin Rinkart
                         Translated by Catherine Winkworth
                        The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing>
I encourage you to click through to the biographies of the author and translator of this hymn. The author's biography is a testimony to endurance in the face of plague, war, and threats, while that of the translator is a look at an early activist for women's rights. Well worth your time!
</idle musing>

Tuesday, July 18, 2023

The irony of an emperor

But the fact that we can’t ever earn God’s favor by our own moral effort shouldn’t blind us to the fact that the call to faith is also a call to obedience. It must be, because it declares that Jesus is the world’s rightful Lord and Master. (The language Paul used of Jesus would have reminded his hearers at once of the language they were accustomed to hearing about Caesar.) That’s why Paul can speak about “the obedience of faith.” Indeed, the word the early Christians used for “faith” can also mean “loyalty” or “allegiance.” It’s what emperors ancient and modern have always demanded of their subjects. The message of the gospel is the good news that Jesus is the one true “emperor,” ruling the world with his own brand of self-giving love. This, of course, cheerfully and deliberately deconstructs the word “emperor” itself. When the early Christians used “imperial” language in relation to Jesus, they were always conscious of irony. Whoever heard of a crucified emperor?—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 208

<idle musing>
I love that: "Whoever heard of a crucified emperor?" Indeed! Jesus flips things upside down. Of course, they only seem to be upside down because our world is upside down. He really flips things right side up, so that we see the reall values—ones that generally are scorned by society: self-giving love, humility, etc.
</idle musing>

Tozer for Tuesday

When people were discussing politics and the right form of government in front of the famous Dr. Samuel Johnson, he cleared his throat and began with those famous words, “Sir, I perceive that it matters little what form of government prevails in a country, the people will be happy if only the rulers be righteous men.” That is worthy to be written down in the halls of Congress and everywhere else throughout the world. The people will be happy if our leaders are righteous men. But they are not all righteous men, because they are humans and subject to temptation the same as everybody else.—A.W. Tozer, Living as a Christian, 144

The God of Abraham praise!

5 Leoni (Yigdal). 6. 6. 8. 4. D.

1 The God of Abraham praise,
   All praised be His Name
   Who was, and is, and is to be,
   And still the same!
   The one eternal God,
   Ere aught that now appears;
   The First, the Last:
   Beyond all thought His timeless years!

2 His Spirit floweth free,
   High surging where it will:
   In prophet's word He spoke of old,
   He speaketh still.
   Established is His law,
   And changeless it shall stand,
   Deep writ upon the human heart,
   On sea or land.

3 He hath eternal life
   Implanted in the soul,
   His love shall be our strength and stay
   While ages roll.
   Praise to the living God!
   All praised be His name,
   Who was, and is, and is to be,
   For aye the same!
                         Daniel ben Judah
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing>
The Methodist Hymnal from 1989 has a different version (taken from

1 The God of Abraham praise,
   who reigns enthroned above;
   Ancient of Everlasting Days,
   and God of Love;
   Jehovah, great I AM!
   by earth and heaven confessed;
   I bow and bless the sacred name
   forever blest.

2 The great I AM has sworn;
   I on this oath depend.
   I shall, on eagle wings upborne,
   to heaven ascend.
   I shall behold God's face;
   I shall God's power adore,
   and sing the wonders of God's grace

3 The heavenly land I see,
   with peace and plenty blest;
   a land of sacred liberty,
   and endless rest.
   There milk and honey flow,
   and oil and wine abound,
   and trees of life forever grow
   with mercy crowned.

4 The God who reigns on high
   the great archangels sing,
   and "Holy, holy, holy!" cry
   "Almighty King!
   Who was, and is, the same,
   and evermore shall be:
   Jehovah, Lord, the great I AM,
   we worship thee!"

It's a adaptation/translation of a tradition Jewish song, written in the 14th century, so it's no surprise that there are numerous versions floating around out there. In a brief internet search, I saw at least three, but I'm sure there are more. The 1989 version was translated/paraphrased by Thomas Olivers
</idle musing>

Monday, July 17, 2023

Garden update

I haven't been posting about my garden this year, but suffice it to say that it is doing very well, despite the drought. I have 150 gallons of rainwater in three barrels, and it has rained just enough to keep them from running out. I did get down to about 10 gallons at one point, but then we received our only substantial rain all summer—one inch—and they got filled up again. Otherwise, we are getting 0.25–0.50 inches per week, some weeks not even that. Just for perspective, we normally receive an inch a week.

That being said, the upside is that there aren't any slugs and very few mosquitoes!

As for produce, I picked my first full-sized tomato on Saturday. I'm growing Wisconsin 55s this year, and I transplanted them on May 15, so about 60 days. The variety is called "55" because they are a short-season indeterminate variety that is supposed to bear in 55 days.

This is my third season growing them. I like them because they are a nice medium-sized tomato that is perfect for freezing. I core them, and then freeze them whole. To use them, I drop them in the hot water for my soup, let them stew for about a minute and then skin them. If you wait any longer, they become too mushy to skin easily. One or two is perfect for a soup for one or two people.

My pak choi did extremely well. I grew nine plants and cut them up and froze them. That should be enough to last until about March. The peas did well, too. They have been done for about three weeks now and my third planting of beans is up there. I'll plant again at the beginning of August for a fall crop.

The raspberries have been going for about 10 days now. The patch doesn't produce enough to really freeze any, but it does give us a nice serving every day.

For summer squash, I'm growing patty pans and zephyr. I freeze the zephyr, cutting them up into sandwich bags and putting those inside a gallon freezer bag; I get about 8–9 bags per gallon. I add those to the soups on the days I don't use pac choi. Patty pans don't freeze as well as the zephyr, so I just use those fresh and also give them away.

My first and second planting of green beans (Provider) have been producing for about three weeks now and the first crop is about done. I'm planning to pull the first planting this week and plant a fourth crop there. I think I'll let the second planting bloom again and try saving the seeds. I've never saved Provider before, so we'll see how that goes. They are open pollinated and produce reliably whatever the weather, which in our current drought is very nice.

The onions and garlic are done and drying in the garage on a folding table. After a couple of weeks, I'll clean them up and store them in the basement. Last year we had enough onions to last until the walking onions started producing and them when the greens on the walking onions got too tough and started producing little onions, we switched to the green onions, which were just big enough. The green onions are done now, and I've been using the small little onions on the walking onions, but pretty soon I'll start using the red onions that are drying.

We had enough garlic to almost last until the new crop. We were about 3 weeks short. Hopefully this year it will be enough. I'll save some for seed, planting in October. I also am going to try some Red German garlic. We'll see how that goes. It's a hardneck, so I'll have scapes to eat. Should be fun!

OK, that's enough for now, although I will end by saying that the only disappointment this year is the strawberries. I bought 30 plants, but only 14 grew—and none of them bloomed. They were slow starting out but are now sending out runners like crazy, so maybe next year. (Gardeners are hopeless optimists!)

Living with the authority of scripture

Living with “the authority of scripture,” then, means living in the world of the story which scripture tells. It means soaking ourselves in that story, as a community and as individuals. Indeed, it means that Christian leaders and teachers must themselves become part of the process, part of the way in which God is at work not only in the Bible-reading community but through that community in and for the wider world. That is the way to become surefooted in our proposal of, or reflection upon, fresh initiatives or suggestions about how the Christian community should respond to new situations—— for instance, in spotting that what the world now needs, in fulfillment of some of scripture’s deepest plans, is global economic justice. It means being, as a community, so attentive not just to what our traditions say about scripture, but to scripture itself, that we are able, by means of it, to live by the life of heaven even while on earth.

All this means that we are called to be people who learn to hear God’s voice speaking today within the ancient text, and who become vessels of that living word in the world around us.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 187; emphasis original

Our maker, defender, redeemer, and friend

4 Lyons. 10. 10. 11. 11.

1 O worship the King all-glorious above,
   O gratefully sing his power and his love:
   our shield and defender, the Ancient of Days,
   pavilioned in splendor and girded with praise.

2 O tell of his might and sing of his grace,
   whose robe is the light, whose canopy space.
   His chariots of wrath the deep thunderclouds form,
   and dark is his path on the wings of the storm.

3 Your bountiful care, what tongue can recite?
   It breathes in the air, it shines in the light;
   it streams from the hills, it descends to the plain,
   and sweetly distills in the dew and the rain.

4 Frail children of dust, and feeble as frail,
   in you do we trust, nor find you to fail.
   Your mercies, how tender, how firm to the end,
   our Maker, Defender, Redeemer, and Friend!
                         Robert Grant The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing>
I have a soft spot in my heart for this hymn. I've always liked it, but when I transfered in to Asbury College as a married student, I found out that each class has a "class hymn" that they adopt and each class has a name. The name of my class was "Defender." And the class hymn was, you guessed it, this one.

I doubt they have the same tradition anymore, but it would be great if they did...

Oh, and adds a fifth verse, with which I was unfamiliar:

5 O measureless Might, unchangeable Love,
   whom angels delight to worship above!
   Your ransomed creation, with glory ablaze,
   in true adoration shall sing to your praise!
</idle musing>

Sunday, July 16, 2023

Come, thou almighty King

2 Italian Hymn (Trinity). 6. 6. 4. 6. 6. 6. 4.

1 Come, Thou Almighty King,
   help us Thy name to sing,
   help us to praise:
   Father, all glorious,
   o'er all victorious,
   come and reign over us,
   Ancient of Days.

2 Come, Thou Incarnate Word,
   gird on Thy mighty sword,
   our pray'r attend:
   Come, and Thy people bless,
   and give Thy Word success:
   Spirit of holiness,
   on us descend.

3 Come, Holy Comforter,
   Thy sacred witness bear
   in this glad hour:
   Thou who almighty art,
   now rule in ev'ry heart,
   and ne'er from us depart,
   Spirit of pow'r.

4 To thee great One in Three,
   eternal praises be
   hence evermore.
   Thy sov'reign majesty
   may we in glory see,
   and to eternity
   love and adore.
                         The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

Saturday, July 15, 2023

Holy, holy, holy

1 Nicaea. 11. 12. 12. 10.

1 Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
   Early in the morning our song shall rise to Thee.
   Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and mighty!
   God in three persons, blessed Trinity!

2 Holy, Holy, Holy! All the saints adore Thee,
   casting down their golden crowns around the glassy sea;
   cherubim and seraphim falling down before Thee,
   which wert and art and evermore shalt be.

3 Holy, Holy, Holy! though the darkness hide Thee,
   though the eye of sinful man Thy glory may not see,
   only Thou art holy; there is none beside Thee,
   perfect in pow'r, in love, and purity.

4 Holy, Holy, Holy! Lord God Almighty!
   All Thy works shall praise Thy name in earth and sky and sea.
   Holy, Holy, Holy! Merciful and mighty!
   God in three persons, blessed Trinity.
                         Reginald Heber
The Methodist Hymnal 1939 edition

<idle musing>
How well I recall this hymn. One year, don't remember which one, my Sunday School class met in the sanctuary. Sunday School was in between the two services. We went to the first service, so I would just stay in the sanctuary and move up to the right front row of pews, closest to the piano. We would begin Sunday School singing a few hymns. This one, being number 1 in the hymnal, was used frequently and so became an early favorite—and remains so even today, some sixty years later.
</idle musing>

Friday, July 14, 2023

Why I don't like words like inerrancy

That is why, though I’m not unhappy with what people are trying to affirm when they use words like “infallible” (the idea that the Bible won’t deceive us) and “inerrant” (the stronger idea, that the Bible can’t get things wrong), I normally resist using those words myself. Ironically, in my experience, debates about words like these have often led people away from the Bible itself and into all kinds of theories which do no justice to scripture as a whole—its great story, its larger purposes, its sustained climax, its haunting sense of an unfinished novel beckoning us to become, in our own right, characters in its closing episodes. Instead, the insistence on an “infallible” or “inerrant” Bible has grown up within a complex cultural matrix (that, in particular, of modern North American Protestantism) where the Bible has been seen as the bastion of orthodoxy against Roman Catholicism on the one hand and liberal modernism on the other. Unfortunately, the assumptions of both those worlds have conditioned the debate. It is no accident that this Protestant insistence on biblical infallibility arose at the same time that Rome was insisting on papal infallibility, or that the rationalism of the Enlightenment infected even those who were battling against it.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 183

<idle musing>
What he said!
</idle musing>

Final doxology

27th P. M. 4 lines 11s.

O FATHER Almighty, to thee be address’d
   With Christ and the Spirit, one God, ever blest,
   All glory and worship, from earth and from heaven,
   As was, and is now, and shall ever be given.
                        Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

<idle musing>
That's the final hymn in this hymnal. It's been a fun little journey, but the poor little hymnal is showing its use. It's a leatherbound volume, and the front hinge was already weak, but now it's loose three-quarters of the way up. I don't know how to repair leatherbound books, and I hesitate to use book tape on it. I guess I'll have to do a bit of research.

But, a couple of weeks ago we went to the local bookstore and I found the Methodist hymnal I grew up with, the one that has "Holy, holy, holy" as number 1. I have been looking for a copy for a few decades, ever since the one I had fell apart. So, be prepared to see some of those to start appearing soon. : )

It's still under copyright (publication date is 1939), so the Internet Archive page requires a login in order for you to see it, and just lists the titles.
</idle musing>

Thursday, July 13, 2023

Grow? Or shrink? Choose one

So what happens when you worship the creator God whose plan to rescue the world and put it to rights has been accomplished by the Lamb who was slain? The answer comes in the second golden rule: because you were made in God’s image, worship makes you more truly human. When you gaze in love and gratitude at the God in whose image you were made, you do indeed grow. You discover more of what it means to be fully alive.

Conversely, when you give that same total worship to anything or anyone else, you shrink as a human being. It doesn’t, of course, feel like that at the time. When you worship part of the creation as though it were the Creator himself—in other words, when you worship an idol—you may well feel a brief “high.” But, like a hallucinatory drug, that worship achieves its effect at a cost: when the effect is over, you are less of a human being than you were to begin with. That is the price of idolatry.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 148 (emphasis original)

A doxology

1146 25th P. M. 77, 87, 77, 87.

TO Father, Son, and Spirit,
   Ascribe we equal glory;
   One Deity, in Persons Three,
   Let all thy works adore thee:
   As was from the beginning,
   Glory to God be given,
   By all who know thy Name below
   And all thy hosts in heaven.
                         Charles Wesley
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Wednesday, July 12, 2023

You become what you worship

This brings us to the first of two golden rules at the heart of spirituality. You become like what you worship. When you gaze in awe, admiration, and wonder at something or someone, you begin to take on something of the character of the object of your worship. Those who worship money become, eventually, human calculating machines.Those who worship sex become obsessed with their own attractiveness or prowess.Those who worship power become more and more ruthless.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 148 (emphasis original)

A benediction

1129 9th P. M. 87, 87, 87, 87.
The apostolic benediction.

MAY the grace of Christ our Saviour,
   And the Father’s boundless love,
   With the Holy Spirit’s favour,
   Rest upon us from above:
   Thus may we abide in union
   With each other and the Lord ;
   And possess, in sweet communion,
   Joys which earth cannot afford.
                         John Newton
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Tuesday, July 11, 2023

It's a love game

But it would be a mistake to give the impression that the Christian doctrine of God is a matter of clever intellectual word games or mind games. For Christians it’s always a love game: God’s love for the world calling out an answering love from us, enabling us to discover that God not only happens to love us (as though this was simply one aspect of his character) but that he is love itself. That’s what many theological traditions have explored as the very heart of God’s own being, the love which passes continually between Father, Son, and Spirit. Indeed, some have suggested that one way of understanding the Spirit is to see the Spirit as the personal love which the Father has for the Son and the Son for the Father. In that understanding, we are invited to share in this inner and loving life of God, by having the Spirit live within us.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 139

Tozer for Tuesday

People go to a doctor and say, “Doctor, I feel all run down; what do you recommend?” One doctor says, ‘‘Well, straighten up, live right, eat the proper diet, get enough sleep and in six months’ time you won’t know yourself.” We shrug him off.

“Oh, doctor, that sounds old-fashioned. Don’t you have something I can take? I want to feel better tomorrow.” Therefore, he patiently gives us some pills we take and psychologically we think we are better, but we are not. Americans are impatient, and the same goes with American Christianity. Some people now want Christianity in the form of a pill, something that will work very quickly.

God says, “Don’t get so anxious, you’ve got eternity to live in. Just live it out. Just work it out, sweat it out, stay around, live right, let week follow week and month follow month, and keep right and keep praying, and you’ll win.”—A.W. Tozer, Living as a Christian, 138–39

A parting blessing

1124 C. M.
For a parting blessing.

NOW may the God of peace and love,
   Who from the’ impris’ning grave
   Restored the Shepherd of the sheep,
   Omnipotent to save ;—

2 Through the rich merits of that blood
   Which he on Calvary spilt,
   To make the’ eternal cov’nant sure,
   On which our hopes are built ;—

3 Perfect our souls in every grace,
   To accomplish all his will;
   And all that ’s pleasing in his sight
   Inspire us to fulfil.

4 For the great Mediator’s s sake
   We every blessing pray;
   With glory let his Name be crown’d,
   Through heaven’s eternal day.
                         Thomas Gibbons
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

<idle musing>
Reading the biography on, I couldn't help but notice this, "He lacked 'the vision and faculty divine,' which gives life to hymns and renders them of permanent value." Ouch. Even if it is true, that wouldn't escape an editor's pen today!
</idle musing>

Monday, July 10, 2023

The kingdom way

If the kingdom of God is the goal of human action, then we have been given a number of criteria which have priority in ethics. The kingdom is the kingdom of God which saves the world. By that token every choice which is contemptuous of the earth is judged. In Jesus Christ God is a God of human beings. Therefore every choice which takes no account of human society is to be rejected. In Jesus Christ God is Lord over all; his salvation is intended for all. Therefore, every choice which advances the well-being of one group, nation, or social class, while leaving others behind on the road to salvation and wholeness, is wrong. Every choice which does not start with those who are farthest behind on the road to this wholeness is a wrong choice. Now human existence has many aspects: economic, social, psychological, political, etc. It may be that some are ahead in one dimension and others in another. One is rich in one thing, another in some other. Everyone will have to share his kind of riches with his neighbor, thus serving one another on the way to the righteousness of the kingdom. For that matter, wealth in only one dimension of life tends to break up and disorganize human existence. For not only the whole of humanity belongs to the kingdom, but also the whole man. A choice which only serves one's economic advantage at the expense of other aspects of human existence is as censurable as a choice which only serves the national interest and leaves other nations behind (as a rule, for that matter, these two choices go together). But the same is true for a choice which only serves the religious life.—A. van de Beek, Why? On Suffering, Guilt, and God, 336–37

<idle musing>
Roger Olson has been going through the book Why? On Suffering, Guilt, and God for a couple of months now. I've been reading along, usually behind him a week or so, but this last weekend I had a bit of time and caught up and actually read ahead, which he doesn't want us to do... Anyway, the above snippet is one of van de Beek's conclusions from the study.

I would be hard pressed to find a better description of how a Christian should participate in the public square. This ethic should be a guidepost; it is basically a summary of the social ethics of the Bible, both Old and New Testaments.

So, how do your current political views line up with the kingdom ethic? If there are gaps, I would call upon you to repent (which means change your mind and walk in a different way). That might mean changing the way you shop, the way you vote, or some other change that only God will reveal to you.
</idle musing>

Blest be the uniting love

1121 C. M.
United,—though separated.

BLEST be the dear uniting love,
   That will not let us part:
   Our bodies may far off remove,
   We still are one in heart.

2 Join’d in one spirit to our Head,
   Where he appoints we go;
   And still in Jesus’ footsteps tread,
   And show his praise below.

3 O may we ever walk in him,
   And nothing know beside,—
   Nothing desire, nothing esteem,
   But Jesus crucified.

4 Closer and closer let us cleave
   To his beloved embrace;
   Expect his fulness to receive,
   And grace to answer grace.

5 Partakers of the Saviour’s grace,
   The same in mind and heart,
   Nor joy, nor grief, nor time, nor place,
   Nor life, nor death can part.

6 Then let us hasten to the day
   Which shall our flesh restore;
   When death shall all be done away,
   And bodies part no more.
                        Charles Wesley
                        Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Sunday, July 09, 2023

The voice of the archangel

1112 11th P. M. 76, 76, 77, 76.
— With the voice of the archangel.

JESUS, faithful to his word,
   Shall with a shout descend:
   All heaven’s host their glorious Lord
   Shall joyfully attend:
   Christ shall come with dreadful noise.
   Lightnings swift, and thunders loud;
   With the great archangel’s voice,
   And with the trump of God.

2 First the dead in Christ shall rise;
   Then we that yet remain
   Shall be caught up to the skies,
   And see our Lord again.
   We shall meet him in the air;
   All rapt, up to heaven shall be;
   Find, and love, and praise him there,
   To all eternity.

3 Who can tell the happiness
   This glorious hope affords?
   Joy unutter’d we possess
   In these reviving words:
   Happy while on earth we breathe;
   Mightier bliss ordain’d to know:
   Trampling down sin, hell, and death,
   To the third heaven we go.
                         Charles Wesley
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Saturday, July 08, 2023


1111 8th P. M. 87, 87, 47.
Behold, He cometh!

LO! He comes, with clouds descending
   Once for favour’d sinners slain;
   Thousand thousand saints, attending,
   Swell the triumph of his train:
   God appears on earth to reign.

2 Every eye shall now behold him
   Robed in dreadful majesty;
   Those Who set at naught and sold him,
   Pierced and nail’d him to the tree,
   Deeply wailing,
   Shall the true Messiah see.

3 All the tokens of his passion
   Still his dazzling body bears;
   Cause of endless exultation
   To his ransom’d worshippers;
   With What rapture
   Gaze we on those glorious scars.

4 Yea, Amen! let all adore thee,
   High on thine eternal throne;
   Saviour, take the power and glory;
   Make thy righteous sentence known:
   Jah-! Jehovah!
   Claim the kingdom for thine own.
                         Charles Wesley
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Friday, July 07, 2023

By the power of the Holy Spirit alone

I have sometimes heard Christian people talk as though God, having done what he’s done in Jesus, now wants us to do our part by getting on with things under our own steam. But that is a tragic misunderstanding. It leads to arrogance, burnout, or both. Without God’s Spirit, there is nothing we can do that will count for God’s kingdom. Without God’s Spirit, the church simply can’t be the church.

I use the word “church” here with a somewhat heavy heart. I know that for many of my readers that very word will carry the overtones of large, dark buildings, pompous religious pronouncements, false solemnity, and rank hypocrisy. But there is no easy alternative. I, too, feel the weight of that negative image. I battle with it professionally all the time.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 122–23

A hymn by an early follower of St. Francis of Assissi

1109 L. M.
The dreadful day.

THE day of wrath, that dreadful day,
   When heaven and earth shall pass away!
   What power shall be the sinner’s stay?
   How shall he meet that dreadful day—

2 When, shriv’ling like a parched scroll,
   The flaming heavens together roll;
   And, louder yet, and yet more dread,
   Swells the high trump that wakes the dead?

3 O, on that day, that wrathful day,
   When man to judgment wakes from clay,
   Be thou, O Christ, the sinner’s stay,
   Though heaven and earth shall pass away.
                         Thomas of Celano
                         Translated by Walter Scott
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Thursday, July 06, 2023

A waste? Or Surprise! I'm alive!

Nothin in all the history of paganism comes anywhere near this combinatlon of event, intention, and meaning. Nothing in Judaism had prepared for it, except in puzzling, shadowy prophecy. The death of Jesus of Nazareth as the king of the jews, the bearer of Israel’s destiny, the fulfillment of God’s promises to his people of old, is either the most stupid, senseless waste and misunderstanding the world has ever seen, or it is the fulcrum around which world history turns.

Christianity is based on the belief that it was and is the latter.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 111

Fill us now with watchful care

1108 S. M.
The solemn midnight cry.

THOU Judge of quick and dead,
   Before whose bar severe,
   With holy joy or guilty dread,
   We all shall soon appear;
   Our caution’d souls prepare
   For that tremendous day,
   And fill us now with watchful care,
   And stir us up to pray:

2 To pray, and wait the hour,
   That awful hour unknown,
   When, robed in majesty and power,
   Thou shalt from heaven come down,
   The immortal Son of man,
   To judge the human race,
   With all thy Father’s dazzling train,
   With all thy glorious grace.

3 To damp our earthly joys,
   To’ increase our gracious fears,
   Forever let the archangel’s voice
   Be sounding in our ears
   The solemn midnight cry,—
   Ye dead, the Judge is come;
   Arise, and meet him in the sky,
   And meet your instant doom.

4 O may we all be found
   Obedient to thy word,
   Attentive to the trumpet’s sound,
   And looking for our Lord.
   O may we thus ensure
   A lot among the blest;
   And watch a moment to secure
   An everlasting rest.
                         Charles Wesley
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Wednesday, July 05, 2023

Bringing the kingdom—to the "wrong people"!

The whole point of Jesus’s work was to bring heaven to earth and join them together forever, to bring God’s future into the present and make it stick there. But when heaven comes to earth and finds earth unready, when God’s future arrives in the present while people are still asleep, there will be explosions. And there were.

In particular, the people we would today call “the religious right,” led by a popular though unofficial pressure group called the “Pharisees,” objected strongly to Jesus’s teaching that God’s kingdom was coming in this way, through his own work. They were scandalized, not least by the way in which Jesus was celebrating God’s kingdom—another strong symbol, this—with all the wrong people: the poor, the outcasts, the hated tax-collectors—anyone in fact who wanted to join in. It was in response to this criticism that Jesus told some of his most poignant and powerful parables.—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 102 (emphasis original)

<idle musing>
Not a whole lot has changed, has it?
</idle musing>

It will all be made visible

1105 C. M.
Secrets of the heart made known.

AND must I be to judgment brought,
   And answer in that day
   For every vain and idle thought,
   And every word I say?

2 Yes, every secret of my heart
   Shall shortly be made known,
   And I receive my just desert
   For all that I have done.

3 How careful then ought I to live;
   With what religious fear;
   Who such a strict account must give
   For my behaviour here.

4 Thou awful Judge of quick and dead,
   The watchful power bestow;
   So shall I to my ways take heed,—
   To all I speak or do.

5 If now thou standest at the door,
   O let me feel thee near;
   And make my peace with God, before
   I at thy bar appear.
                         Charles Wesley
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Tuesday, July 04, 2023

Tozer for Tuesday

The presence of an honest Christian living an upright life in the midst of the Gentiles is God’s most powerful instrument to condition men for the gospel of His Son, Jesus Christ.—A.W. Tozer, Living as a Christian, 136

Ashes to … Glory!

1095 C. M.
Awaking from the dust with shouts of praise.

THROUGH sorrow’s night, and danger’s path,
   Amid the deep’ning gloom,
   We, foll’wers of our suff’ring Lord,
   Are marching to the tomb.

2 There, when the turmoil is no more
   And all our powers decay,
   Our cold remains in solitude
   Shall sleep the years away.

3 Our labours done, securely laid
   In this our last retreat,
   Unheeded, o’er our silent dust,
   The storms of earth may beat.

4 Yet not thus buried, or extinct,
   The vital spark shall lie;
   For o’er life’s wreck that spark shall rise
   To seek its kindred sky.

5 These ashes, too, this little dust,
   Our Father’s care shall keep,
   Till the last angel rise and break
   The long and dreary sleep.
                         H. K. White
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Monday, July 03, 2023

Rescue operation?

If this was a rescue operation, it was one with a difference. It wasn’t a matter of the God of Israel simply fighting off the wicked pagans and vindicating his own people. It was more devastating. It was about God judging not only the pagans but also Israel; about God acting in a new way in which nothing could be taken for granted; about God fulfilling his promises, but doing so in a way that nobody had expected or anticipated. God was issuing a fresh challenge to Israel, echoing back to his promises to Abraham: Israel is indeed the light of the world, but its present policies have been putting that light under a bucket. It’s time for drastic action. Instead of the usual military revolt, it was time to show the pagans what the true God was really like, not by fighting and violence but by loving one’s enemies, turning the other cheek, going the second mile. That is the challenge which Jesus issued in a series of teachings that we call the “sermon on the mount” (Matthew 5:1-7:29).—N. T. Wright, Simply Christian: Why Christianity Makes Sense, 101

The hope of the resurrection

1094 C. M.
Certainty the resurrection dispels the gloom of the grave.

WHY do we mourn for dying friends,
   Or shake at death’s alarms?
   ’Tis but the voice that Jesus sends,
   To call them to his arms.

2 Are we not tending upward too,
   As fast as time can move?
   Nor should we wish the hours more slow,
   To keep us from our love.

3 Why should we tremble to convey
   Their bodies to the tomb?
   There once the flesh of Jesus lay,
   And left a long perfume.

4 The graves of all his saints he blest,
   And soften’d every bed:
   There should the dying members rest,
   But with their dying Head?

5 Thence he arose, ascending high,
   And show’d our feet the way:
   Up to the Lord our flesh shall fly,
   At the great rising day.

6 Then let the last, loud trumpet sound,
   And bid our kindred rise :—
   Awake, ye nations under ground;
   Ye saints, ascend the skies.
                         Isaac Watts
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Sunday, July 02, 2023

A hopeful rest

1091 L. M.
The grave shall restore its trust.

UNVEIL thy bosom, faithful tomb;
   Take this new treasure to thy trust;
   And give these sacred relics room
   To slumber in the silent dust.

2 Nor pain, nor grief, nor anxious fear
   Invade thy bounds: no mortal woes
   Can reach the peaceful sleeper here,
   While angels watch the soft repose.

3 So Jesus slept ;—
   God’s dying Son
   Pass’d through the grave, and blest the bed;
   Rest here, blest saint, till from his throne
   The morning break, and pierce the shade.

4 Break from his throne, illustrious morn;
   Attend, O earth! his sov’reign word,
   Restore thy trust—a glorious form—
   Call’d to ascend and meet the Lord.
                         Isaac Watts
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)

Saturday, July 01, 2023

Change to strains of cheerful praise / Our accents of distress

1084 C. M.
The death of a pastor.

TO thee, O God, when creatures fail,
   Thy flock, deserted, flies;
   And on the’ eternal Shepherd’s care,
   Our steadfast hope relies.

2 When o’er thy faithful servant’s dust
   Thy saints assembled mourn,
   In speedy tokens of thy grace,
   O Zion’s God, return!

3 The powers of nature all are thine,
   And thine the aids of grace;
   Thine arm has borne thy churches up,
   Through each succeeding race.

4 Exert thy sacred influence here,
   And here thy suppliants bless;
   And change to strains of cheerful praise
   Our accents of distress.
                         Philip Doddridge
                         Methodist Episcopal hymnal (1870 edition)