*God’s Words. Our Voice: Singing the Songs of Faith – October 1, 2017

Oct 01, 2017

“I am not ashamed to confess publicly that next to theology there is no art which is the equal of music…”    Martin Luther, in a letter (1530) to Catholic composer, Ludwig Senfl

Hymns are often the first way we learn to give voice to our faith as children, and even those who are not great singers have favorite hymns that they know by heart.  You are invited to reflect on this stanza in the week ahead.  Use it for prayer, meditation, or in daily devotion.  Our prayer and hope is that these hymn stanzas will lift and deepen your faith and encourage your living of that faith in daily works of love and acts of mercy.

O Master Let Me Walk With You ELW 818, stanza 1

Tune: MARYTON

O Master, let me walk with you

In lowly paths of service true;

Tell me your secret; help me bear

The strain of toil, the fret of care.

The hymn writer, Washington Gladden (1838-1918) was a distinguished Congregational minister of his era and a leader in the social gospel movement.  The text expresses the writer’s longing to walk with Christ in service, perhaps to better understand the ability to bear the strain of work and toil.  Biographers describe a minister who was a courageous champion for social justice, who often felt abandoned by fellow clergy who lacked the courage to take public stands.  Rather than refer to a desire for peaceful solitude with Christ, these words witness to the burden of championing unpopular causes in the name of Christ.