My lovely sister just sent me this song, The Pilgrim's Hymn by Michael Dennis Browne. The words and link are below.
What I love about this hymn, besides its pure beauty, is the consistency of God's presence. This Advent, I've been struck again by my own inconsistencies. I'm content one day, restless the next. My moods depend more than I'd like on food, sleep, exercise, people, and time to play outside. I'm no better than a child.
The daily ups and downs I can handle and my loved ones can forgive. Worse are the vagaries of my dreams. Prayers are hopes and dreams entrusted to God. A quick scan of my prayer journal reveals that even my prayers shift. Sometimes week from week they directly contradict each other.
A task for me this advent is to trust that my confusion can't cloud God's vision. 1 Thessalonians 5:24, a text from this week's readings, says it clearly. "The one who calls us is faithful."
So, back to the song my sister sent. It reminds me that all my attempts at faithfulness - to God, the church, my personal relationships, myself - are only sucessful through the power of God's faithfulness. That "even before we call your name...you hear our prayer."
Breathe in God's faithfulness and in the words of my dear sister, listen to this song if you have (or need) a few moments of peace.
Even before we call on Your name
To ask You, O God,
When we seek for the words to glorify You,
You hear our prayer;
Unceasing love, O unceasing love,
Surpassing all we know.
Glory to the Father,
And to the Son,
And to the Holy Spirit.
Even with darkness sealing us in,
We breathe Your name,
And through all the days that follow so fast,
We trust in You; Endless Your grace, O endless Your grace,
Beyond all mortal dream.
Both now and for ever, And unto ages and ages, Amen.
- Michael Dennis Browne