Sunday, April 13, 2014

New hymn, particularly suitable for a week ago.

Frankly, this week has rotted.  I have had too many occasions to let my temper flare.  (Yes, I have one.  It's not pretty.)  Typically that anger is directed at myself for my own incompetence, as was sometimes the case this week (I have control of mostly nothing in my life right now, so I get particularly wrathful against myself when I screw up one of the things I do control).  Very few people have really experienced my anger directed against them.  By the grace of God, a few of them are still friends.  This week produced some angry, or at least argumentative, moments directed less at people than against events, or in some cases memories of events -- a past where those who were putatively leaders in my church of raising ranted on about childless married couples (like, um, us) being in rebellion against God or some such rot in one case, and the spoilage of baseball in another, as witness yesterday's rant over on the other blog.
Fortunately, though, the rages of the week somehow did not prevent me from fulfilling the third part of my Lenten task for this year.  I took on the assignment of reading two books (not related to class assignments) and writing two new hymns this lent, and thankfully I can now say the hymn part of that is done.  (One book is read, which is described in the previous entry in this blog.)  I'm fudging a little, to count a set of responses for the Eucharistic Great Prayer of Thanksgiving as a hymn, but the same work is involved, so there.
Last week's scriptures, Ezekiel's dry-bones encounter and the raising of Lazarus, started the percolation of the idea.  It took a while for the ideas to shape themselves into verses, with the result that the hymn in its final (so far) form finally took shape and demanded my attention about midnight last night.  Fortunately my iPhone was nearby and I could type it out in the "Notes" app until I could record it here.

Rise up, old bones, return to life,
Take sinew, flesh, and breath;
Give witness to the power of God,
A power that overcomes death,
A power that overcomes death.

Rise up, dear friend, return to life,
No longer in the grave;
Give witness to the love of God
That drives a Savior to save,
That drives a Savior to save.

Rise up, old church, return to life,
No longer drowned in fear;
Give witness to the word of God
The world refuses to hear, etc.

Rise up, my heart, return to life,
No longer bound in sin;
Give witness to the grace of God
And let a new life begin, etc.

The tune of choice for right now is DOVE OF PEACE, probably best known with "I come with joy to meet my Lord."  This hopefully explains the repetitions and "etc."s in each verse, if you know the tune.  Hopefully the Ezekiel and Lazarus parts are clear enough; the two latter verses bring that idea of returning to life forward to our own church and self.  (It's possible I had the PC(USA) specifically in mind when verse three developed.  Possible.  Maybe even most specifically in the last two lines of that verse  And it might even be possible that the "world" that "refuses to hear" might just include other domains of Christianity.  Just maybe.)  I'm not opposed to other tune suggestions.  It would be good to find a tune collaborator at some point if I'm going to keep doing this, so if you know any such person feel free to connect me to them or vice versa.

So anyway, there 'tis.  It might be a little too specific for wide use, but make of it what you will.

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