Wednesday, July 13, 2011

God of the Ages

I heard the song "Morning Has Broken" today.
The most well known version is Cat Stevens of course.

But there is another song written to the same tune, it's a Gaelic tune: BUNESSAN.

The words were authored by the Canadian hymn-writer, Margaret Clarkson. I had the privilege of sitting with her in Ian Rennie's Church History class at OTS [Ontario Theological Seminary - now Tyndale]. It was great having her in the class & introducing us to music from different periods of church history. She is the reason for some of my enjoyment of plainsong and Gregorian Chant. 

The hymn that she wrote to go with this tune, captures the nature of our God as both transcendent and imminent:

God of the ages, history’s Maker,
planning our pathway, holding us fast,
shaping in mercy all that concerns us:
Father, we praise you, Lord of the past.

God of this morning, gladly your children
worship before you, trustingly bow;
teach us to know you always among us,
quietly sovereign, Lord of our now.

God of tomorrow, strong overcomer,
princes of darkness own your command:
what then can harm us? We are your people,
now and forever kept by your hand.

Lord of past ages, Lord of this morning,
Lord of the future, help us, we pray:
teach us to trust you, love and obey you,
crown you each moment Lord of today!

Text by Margaret Clarkson, 1915-2008
Words © 1982 Hope Publishing Company

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