I didn’t think I was of a mood to appreciate this one, and yet…
Morning, so fair to see, night, veiled in mystery —
glorious the earth and resplendent skies!
Pilgrims, we march along, singing our joyous song,
as through an earthly paradise.
Tall are the verdant trees; deep are the flashing seas;
glorious each wonder the seasons bring.
Brighter is faith’s surmise, shining in pilgrim eyes,
from which our waking spirits spring.
Age after age we rise, ‘neath the eternal skies,
into the light from the shadowed past:
still shall our pilgrim song, buoyant and brave and strong,
resound while life and mountains last.
Another day, another morning song. I did not have the buoyant experience many of my colleagues did yesterday, for many reasons. I left feeling still sad and fearful and angry, not finding the healing I had hoped would be present in the readings, words, songs, and sharing we would engage in. And I have been dreading this cycle of morning songs lately – it’s not fair, I keep thinking, that hope pushes itself in. I’m not ready for it, I keep saying – and I am sure you are tired of me saying.
Still, I opened the hymnal again, because of my commitment to this practice. I read the lyrics before I sang them today, not really noticing the third verse because it’s all happy pilgrim songs marching along. Blech.
But then I sang – the tune is actually not bad and easy to sing; it put me in mind of some of the camp songs I learned as a kid, for some reason. And it matches the lyrics well….so for better or worse, I at least had enough …whatever… to notice that.
And then I got to the third verse. “Into the light from the shadowed past”…”still shall our pilgrim song…resound while life and mountains last.” In other words, what we know is true IS still true, and we must sing it bravely and buoyantly and be strong….because if we don’t, who will?
Here. Here in this cheery morning song is a call to strength, to courage, to prophetic witness.
Yeah, I’m in for that. I don’t have a lot of hope inside me right now, despite all I am preaching. But I do know I have to keep on singing our songs of righteousness, justice, freedom, compassion.