Saturday, December 22, 2012

Housman: Father eternal, Ruler of creation

Saturday, December 22, 2012
    The Word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. We have seen his glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.
    —John 1:14 (NIV)
Father eternal, Ruler of creation,
Spirit of life, which moved ere form was made,
Through the thick darkness covering every nation,
Light to man’s blindness, O be Thou our aid.

Races and peoples, lo, we stand divided,
And, sharing not our griefs, no joy can share;
By wars and tumults Love is mocked, derided;
His conquering cross no nation wills to bear.

Envious of heart, blind-eyed, with tongues confounded,
Nation by nation still goes unforgiven,
In wrath and fear, by jealousies surrounded,
Building proud towers which shall not reach to heaven.

Lust of possession worketh desolations;
There is no meekness in the powers of earth;
Led by no star, the rulers of the nations
Still fail to bring us to the blissful birth.

How shall we love Thee, holy hidden Being,
If we love not the world which Thou hast made?
O give us brother-love for better seeing
Thy Word made flesh and in a manger laid.
    ... Laurence Housman (1865-1959), [1919] Songs of Praise, enl. ed., Ralph Vaughan Williams, et al., ed., Oxford University Press, 1931, p. 98 (see the book)
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, may we love You better.

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