The older I get, the more I realise uncertainty is nothing new. Nor will it go away, no matter how much we might wish or pray it would. This thought hit home when I was singing Joachim Neander’s marvellous hymn, God, My Hope on You is Founded at a recent church service.
In one of the verses, the words “sword and crown betray our trust” suddenly struck me as being a massive political statement. I have no idea why that thought had not occurred before during the many years I’ve sung this hymn.
|...and Crown betray our trust|
He was a hymn writer for the German Reformed Church and his most famous hymn is Praise to the Lord, The Almighty, the King of Creation (a favourite of many of us I’m sure. The moment I typed the words I was "singing" the opening bars in my head!). He became Pastor of Bremen.
Now my knowledge of German history at that period is lamentable but I wonder if the comment about the sword and crown came about as a result of the Continent as a whole watching what was going on in our own country.
Neander’s life span covered from just after the English Civil War to the whole of Cromwell’s Republic and the Restoration of the Monarchy with Charles II in 1660. Turbulent times.
|Hymnbooks at the ready...|
So each generation has its uncertainties. We shouldn’t be surprised then when we face our own - as a country and individually. But, confession time, I always am surprised by them! I would love to see each country, including our own, at peace with all others and all governing wisely and for violence to be a thing of the past. All things to pray for, naturally. Maybe each generation does need its own things to pray and work for.
|Hymn music. Whatever the language the words are in, the music will always speak.|
|Organ and Hymnbooks|