STLT#344, A Promise through the Ages Rings

It is always a relief to me to turn to a new section of the hymnal; I think it’s because of the frankly unnatural nature of this practice. i was getting worn out by the Insight and Wisdom section, feeling as though I had little of either by the time it all ended.

But now we are in a section called Hope.

Which seems a bit out of step (which means it’s perfect for this practice). It’s a hard day to have hope, when the Western Hemisphere is bearing the wrath of Mother Nature, and there are so many hard things to bear from the current administration.

But hope it is, and so hope it shall have to be.

And as hope hymns go, this one’s pretty decent. Lyrics by Alicia Alexander, and set to Was Gott Thut (the same tune as When Mary Through the Garden Went (Was Gott Thut), we have a good reminder of where to find hope and why it matters:

A promise through the ages rings,
that always, always, something sings.
Not just in May, in finch-filled bower,
but in December’s coldest hour,
a note of hope sustains us all.

A life is made of many things:
bright stars, bleak years, and broken rings.
Can it be true that through all things,
there always, always something sings?
The universal song of life.

Entombed within our deep despair,
our pain seems more than we can bear;
but days shall pass, and nature knows
that deep between the winter snow
a rose lies curled and hums its song.

For something always, always sings.
This is the message Easter brings:
from deep despair and perished things
a green shoot always, always springs,
and something always, always sings.

Almost like it’s a good wrap up for an Easter service.

I say “almost” because as Michael Tino and I talked about in a Hymn by Hymn Extra, Easter is not Spring – and this hymn makes a direct connection.

Yet putting Easter in a larger context, and drawing us into the entombment metaphor here, does offer some comfort, at least to me. I would still use this as a closing song at Easters when hope is he central theme.

Truth is, despite the Easter/Spring thing (which probably guys Michael more than it does me), I rather like this one.

Support this site

I am an entrepreneurial minister, which means I am a freelancer, and every part of my income comes from the work I do. The Hymn by Hymn Project was and is a labor of love, but I now am incurring increasing costs for hosting the site.

If everyone who visited gave just $5, those costs would be covered in a single week.

Whether you give once or monthly, your generosity will keep Hymn by Hymn free and available to to the tens of thousands of people who benefit from it.

Please support the project!


Learn more about my ministry at The Art of Meaning

Read my thoughts about congregational life at Hold My Chalice