June 11, 2005

80R Immortal Love, Forever Full

Lyrics: John Greenleaf Whittier (1866), rev. REH (2005); Music: DUNDEE (C.M.), Scottish Psalter (1615). Psalm 89:1 (NRSV), "I will sing of your steadfast love, O Lord;" see also Psalm 89:28. Genesis 1:2a, "[A] wind from God swept over the face of the waters." Isaiah 35:6, "[W]aters shall break forth in the wilderness, and streams in the desert;" see also Isaiah 41:17-18, Jeremiah 2:13, 17:13, Ezekiel 47:1-12. John 4:14, "The water that I will give will become in them a spring of water gushing up to eternal life;" see also Revelation 21:6. 2 Corinthians 3:6b, "[T]he letter kills, but the Spirit gives life;" John 1:9, "The true light, which enlightens everyone, was coming into the world."


1. Im-mort-al Love, for-ev-er full,
for-ev-er flow-ing free,
for-ev-er shared, for-ev-er whole,
a nev-er ebb-ing sea!

2. Blow, winds of God, a-wake and blow
the mists of earth a-way:
Shine out, O Light di-vine, and show
thy wide and vast ar-ray.

3. O God and Sove-reign of us all,
what-e'er our name or sign,
we own thy sway, we hear thy call,
we test our lives by thine.

4. The let-ter fails, the sys-tems fall,
and ev-ery sym-bol wanes;
The Spir-it o-ver-brood-ing all,
E-ter-nal Love re-mains.

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December 14, 2005

218R Where Cross the Crowded Ways (of Life)

Original Title: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life," Frank Mason North (1905), AUCORITATE SAECULI, L.M., Angers Church Melody; New Title: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways (of Life)," rev. REH (2006), same hymn tune. Neither the hymn nor the tune appears in Singing the Living Tradition. North was a Methodist, served as president of the Federal (now National) Council of Churches, and was a native of New York City, whose bustling pace is manifest in these lyrics. Though at odds with Hymns of the Spirit Two, cyberhymnal.org gives the date of publication as 1903 in The Christian City (with the tune as GERMANY, which is how it appears as hymn no. 543 in the United Church of Christ's New Century Hymnal). The site enigmatically notes a biblical allusion to Matthew 22:9. Less obscure might be Matthew 10:40-42 (NRSV): "Whoever welcomes you welcomes me ... and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple—truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward;" see also Mark 9:41. Revelation 21:10, "And in the spirit he carried me away to a great, high mountain and showed me the holy city Jerusalem coming down out of heaven from God," see also Revelation 21:2, Hebrews 11:16. The lyrics "from famished souls ... your heart has never known recoil," bring to mind the story of the persistent Syrophoenician woman in Mark 7:26-30. Though an "gentile," and thus ritually "unclean," Jesus agrees to heal her child all the same.


1. Where cross the crowd-ed ways of life,
where sound out cries, hearts race and run;
a-bove the noise of self-ish strife,
we hear your voice, Be-lov-ed One.

2. In haunts of wretch-ed-ness and need,
on shadow-ed thresh-olds full with fears,
from paths where hide the lures of greed,
we catch the vi-sion of your tears.

3. From ten-der child-hood's help-less-ness,
from lone-some grief, and burd-ened toil,
from fam-ished souls, from sor-row's stress,
your heart has ne-ver known re-coil.

4. The cup of wa-ter given for you,
still holds the fresh-ness of your grace;
Yet long these mul-ti-tudes to view
the true com-pas-sion of your face.

5. O Teach-er, from the moun-tain-side
make haste to heal these hearts of pain;
a-mong these rest-less throngs a-bide;
O tread the ci-ty's streets a-gain.

6. Till all earth's child-ren learn to love
and fol-low where your feet have trod,
till, glo-rious from your heaven a-bove,
shall come the Ci-ty of our God!

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218S Entre el vaivén de la ciudad

Título original: "Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life," Frank Mason North (1905), traductor anónimo, AUCTORITATE SAECULI,, Angers Church Melody; Título nuevo: "Entre el vaivén de la ciudad," rev. REH (2005), misma tonada. El himno aparece en el himnario metodista Mil voces para celebrar (1996), como no. 296, y como no. 325 en El Himnario (Church Publishing, 1998), pero con la tonada GERMANY (L.M.). Mateo 10:42 (CST), "Y cualquiera que dé un simple vaso de agua al más humilde de mis discípulos por el hecho de ser discípulo mío, no quedará sin recompensa," véase también Marcos 9:41, Mateo 22:9. Apocalipsis 21:10 (RVR 1995),"Me llevó en el Espíritu a un monte grande y alto y me mostró la gran ciudad, la santa Jerusalén, que descendía del cielo de parte de Dios," véase también Apocalipsis 21:2, Hebreos 11:16. Marcos 7:26, La mujer sirofenicia fue a rogar a Jesús, para que sanara su hija.


1. En-tre el vai-vén de la ciu-dad,
más fuer-te a-ún que su ru-mor;
en lid de ra-za y so-cie-dad,
tu voz o-í-mos, Re-den-tor.

2. Do-quie-ra e-xis-ta ex-plo-ta-ción,
fal-te tra-ba-jo, no haya pan;
en los um-bra-les del te-rror,
Ra-bi-no, vé-mos-te llo-rar.

3. Un va-so de a-gua pue-de ser,
hoy de tu gra-cia, la se-ñal;
mas ya las gen-tes quie-ren ver
tu com-pa-si-va y san-ta faz.

4. Has-ta que triun-fe tu dul-zor
y el mun-do pue-da o-ír tu voz
y de los cie-los, mi a-mor,
des-cien-da la Ciu-dad de Dios.

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December 31, 2006

620R God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces

Title: "God of Queer, Transgressive Spaces," Edward Moran (2005), alt., CONVERSE, D, C. C. Converse (1868). Moran is a Presbyterian who lives in the Fort Greene section of Brooklyn, New York; many of the lyrics of the hymns he has written can be found in the "Hymn Texts" section of the website run by The Hymn Society in the United States and Canada. Moran describes the work below as addressing "often-divisive issues of sexual diversity in the light of traditional images of Incarnation and Trinity." The lyrics have been edited lightly here. The second stanza originally read as a statement rather than a question, i.e., "Born of virgin, Word made flesh, dead and buried, still He rises!" The third stanza likewise read "Easter garments, at His order, Swaddle Her beloved One," without a question mark. Finally, the last stanza here reads "unbound God" in lieu of "Threesome God" as in Moran's original. The lyrics remain under copyright all the same, (c) Edward Moran 2006. They appear here by his kind permission. Users may wish to request permission to reproduce the hymn for local or congregational worship, or other purposes, by writing him at EMoran8688@aol.com. "Keep these words that I am commanding you today in your heart ... Bind them as a sign on your hand, fix them as an emblem on your forehead," Deuteronomy 6:6, 8 (NRSV), see also Deuteronomy 11:18. "It is God's gift that all should eat and drink and take pleasure in all their toil." Ecclesiastes 3:13. "My beloved speaks and says to me: Arise, my love, my fair one, and come away," Song of Songs 2:10. "Jonathan made a covenant with David, because he loved him as his own soul. Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that he was wearing, and gave it to David, and his armor, and even his sword and his bow and his belt," 1 Samuel 18:3-4; see also 2 Samuel 1:26. "Owe no one anything, except to love one another; for the one who loves another has fulfilled the law," Romans 13:8, see also Romans 14:10, 12:4, 8:21. "This is my body that is for you. Do this in remembrance of me," 1 Corinthians 11:24, see also 1 Corinthians 12:4, 1 Corinthians 12:12, 1 Corinthians 13:13. "They have taken the Lord out of the tomb," John 20:2. "She gave birth to her firstborn son and wrapped him in bands of cloth, and laid him in a manger," Luke 2:7, John 1:1. "Thus says the Lord ... I am about to do a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert," Isaiah 43:16, 19.


1. God of queer, trans-gress-ive spa-ces:
Lav-ish man-ger, emp-ty tomb,
wine-dark loaves and pre-cious gra-ces
bend our bar-ren lives to bloom.

2. God’s own de-vi-ance is Jes-us:
Born of vir-gin, word made flesh,
dead and bur-ied, and still ris-es?
What ab-norm-al world-li-ness!

3. Thank God for this grave dis-ord-er:
Shroud and sor-row fall un-done;
East-er gar-ments, at whose or-der,
swad-dle the be-lov-ed one?

4. Broth-ers, bind ye to each oth-er,
Sis-ters, too, and have no shame.
Sing with God our Fath-er-Moth-er,
Love that dares now speak its name.

5. With our un-bound* God con-fess-ing:
Turn all frac-ture in-to praise,
be-ne-dic-tion in-to bless-ing,
fab-u-lous and full of days.

* or 'threesome,' as in the original

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