Sunday, July 12, 2015

121. Journey Hymn

Here is a hymn that prays, on one level, for those who travel, and perhaps on another level for those who stray from the faith. Because this possible double usefulness is hard enough to build into a hymn text, I am sparing myself the trouble of inventing a new tune for it by repurposing one I previously wrote for a hymn by my friend Alan. It's called ASPICE PROTECTOR.

Lord, who led Jacob's seed,
From Egypt's bondage freed,
By signs of cloud and burning:
When now Your children roam
Guide them in safety home,
In peace and joy returning.

As wise men from afar
You beckoned by a star
To view Your Son and Mary's,
So also walk beside
Those who go forth, and guide
Them where Your presence tarries.

Such signs they may not see
As You lent formerly
To journeys great and solemn;
Be, Lord, Yourself their light
Showing them wrong from right,
Your Word their fiery column.

No star now marks the place
Where they may find Your grace,
Still less the seeking stranger;
Yet Your blest Sacrament
Shows sinners who repent
A rest from toil and danger.

Now over floods of grief
No dove-flown olive leaf
Bespeaks an end to frowning;
Yet when we here baptize,
You hold before our eyes
The death of death, sin's drowning.

No cross need mark the place
Where You redeemed our race,
Once for all people dying;
Where we proclaim Your death
You dwell, bestowing faith
And sinners justifying.

So on this latter day
Draw us along Your way,
To life and glory pressing;
Help us to run our race,
Your all-availing grace
With lips and lives confessing.

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