08 October 2008

Abide With Me

In lieu of the proper Christian counselor, or Christian author, or available pastor or minister who "truly" understands... in lieu of the presence of a daily significant other or best friend forever who would be always available with just the right words at just the right time, along with plenty of hugs and kisses... in lieu of the best growing up years and parents, or even pretty good growing up years and parents, schooling and teachers who cared...

I present you with merely the Truth. The One Who Cares. The Strength and Shield. The Comforter. The Sacrifice and One Who Took Your Place. May you notice that This One does indeed abide with you. Pray, beseech, fall on your knees, cry, lean, kneel and be truly humbled. And you will be lifted up, comforted, healed and made whole.



Hayley Westenra singing Abide With Me at Rugby School


ABIDE WITH ME

“They urged Him strongly, ‘Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over.’” Luke 24:29

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.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word;
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terrors, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings,
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea—
Come, Friend of sinners, and thus bide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile;
And, though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee,
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

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.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.



Words: Hen­ry F. Lyte, 1847.
Music: Eventide, Wil­liam H. Monk, 1861. Mrs. Monk de­scribed the set­ting:

This tune was writ­ten at a time of great sor­row—when to­ge­ther we watched, as we did dai­ly, the glo­ries of the set­ting sun. As the last gold­en ray fad­ed, he took some pa­per and pen­ciled that tune which has gone all over the earth.

Lyte was in­spired to write this hymn as he was dy­ing of tu­ber­cu­lo­sis; he fin­ished it the Sun­day he gave his fare­well ser­mon in the par­ish he served so ma­ny years. The next day, he left for Ita­ly to re­gain his health. He didn’t make it, though—he died in Nice, France, three weeks af­ter writ­ing these words. Here is an ex­cerpt from his fare­well ser­mon:

O breth­ren, I stand here among you to­day, as alive from the dead, if I may hope to im­press it upon you, and in­duce you to pre­pare for that sol­emn hour which must come to all, by a time­ly ac­quaint­ance with the death of Christ.

- Cypberhymnal
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