Friday, August 5, 2016
"Redeem the Time"
Number 169 in our new hymnal, Glory to God, is my favorite hymn. It is titled, “Dear Lord and Father of Mankind.” If that sexist title is offensive, there is an alternate title, “Dear Lord, Creator Good and Kind.”
The tune for this hymn is REST (Elton). It is perfectly mated to the text. It affirms the spirit of the words.
John Greenleaf Whittier wrote a long poem called The Brewing of Soma. Out of that poem came the inspiration for this hymn. Whittier does not ignore the dissonant voice of his age. In doing so, he speaks to our age. “The earthquake, wind and fire” contribute to the “strain and stress” in which we live. We need the “still, small voice of calm.”
Ephesians 5:16 calls on us to, “Redeem the time.” A more current translation would say, “Make the most of your time.” We need serenity. We need silence. Where is quietness in our lives? We need to take time to get acquainted with our true selves. Who am I? Do I matter? Why am I here? Without silence, can we hear the counsel of God?
I hope this hymn speaks to you as it has to me.