Hymn: Abide with me; fast falls the eventide (CPWI #7)
Verse 1: Abide with me; fast falls the eventide:
the darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide:
when other helpers fail, and comforts flee,
help of the helpless, O abide with me.
Verse 3: I need thy presence every passing hour;
what but thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who like thyself my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.
Reflection: The words of the hymn, ‘Abide with me’ are powerful and direct reminders of the times in which we live – ‘the darkness deepens,’ ‘comforts flee,’ ‘we are helpless.’
Many of the hymns we so love and love to sing, were written in times of adversity by authors who were experiencing physical, emotional or personal hardship, suffering and pain. Many of the situations relate to death and dying. Many relate to personal loss. They all expose the acknowledged vulnerabilities of the authors, who in each case, seek solace and comfort from their misery as they cry out in eloquent poetry to the God of all gods.
There is, however, a common thread in all these hymns that we should not overlook or miss. It is the fact that each speaks to the hope that is in Christ. The authors speak from a position of knowing God and trusting in Him, fully aware that He and only He can bring the salve they need for their bruised and wounded souls. They cry out in the certainty that in their despair and brokenness, Christ is their only hope to weather and survive the storms of life. Is it not the same for us?
What is your story? Is He your hope? Do you only cry out to Him in your times of distress? The times in which we live have become increasingly more stressful in so many ways. Life has changed in tangible and significant ways to the extent that we feel deprived of much that makes us human. We are separated from loved ones, forced into isolation, advised against touching and other forms of human contact and for some exposed to greater abuse and hurt. Life is about to drive us crazy. We wash and scrub to keep our bodies clean and virus free, but do we pay as much attention to our spiritual lives? Is our relationship with Him virus-free?
We each have enough experience to assert the reassurance “I triumph still if thou abide with me.” For we know that He is our God who cares for us, who has promised never to leave us, who is always there and who has provided for all our needs. My friends, we can testify that He is our hope.
Meditation: Abide with me, O Lord!
Prayer: Forgive us, Lord, for the times when we doubt and are afraid. Thank You for Your continued goodness and greatness to us. We need You Lord! Amen.
St. Jude’s Church
Anglican Diocese of Jamaica and The Cayman Islands
20 February 2021