The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
A good friend reminded me of this old hymn last week, written by John Ellerton in 1870. The God who created darkness and light, day and night, gives us, and is there with us, throughout each day… particularly today.
This God of time is there at the morning and evening of our lives…
We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.
The bigger picture, the God of space as well as time: different people, locations, cultures are part of ‘The Church’ that continues its work and worship.
If I have a problem with this hymn it is that it reflects the time it was written – empire, power, imperialism and superiority. However… it presents an all-powerful God. In that I’m content.
As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.
The consistency of an international God of geography, history and time brings faith, hope and reassurance.
This God is involved in my little world. The good things I enjoy today I can enjoy tomorrow; my faults and failings of today can be resolved and put right tomorrow.
The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ’neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.
This God and his church is bigger and more powerful than political powers. Those who follow the Christian path can today pray ‘Thy kingdom come’.
So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.