– 9 May 2023 Anno Domini, the Anglican Orthodox Communion Worldwide
“Abide with us: for it is toward evening, and the day is far spent. And he went in to tarry with them.” Luke 24:29
This hymn by Henry Twells was first published in ‘Hymns Ancient and Modern,’ 1868. The hymn tune is Angelus or Whitsun Hymn, derived from a melody by Georg Joseph. One remarkable aspect of the hymn is the fact that the tune so perfectly fits the mood and meaning of the lyrics. There is an evening to every day but, moreover, an evening of fading light to every life. While the Master yet stands without with lighted lamp, we must open to him to come inside to abide with us forever.
Click here to listen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=no07HDRlwNQ
AT EVEN, ERE THE SUN WAS SET
At even, ere the sun was set,
The sick, O Lord, around Thee lay;
O, with how many pains they met!
O, with what joy they went away!
Once more ’tis eventide, and we,
Oppressed with various ills, draw near;
What if Thyself we cannot see?
We know that Thou art ever near.
O Savior Christ, our woes dispel;
For some are sick, and some are sad;
And some have never loved Thee well,
And some have lost the love they had.
And none, O Lord, have perfect rest,
For none are wholly free from sin;
And they who fain would serve
Thee best Are conscious most of wrong within.
O Savior Christ, Thou too art man;
Thou has been troubled, tempted, tried;
Thy kind but searching glance can scan T
he very wounds that shame would hide.
Thy touch has still its ancient power.
No word from Thee can fruitless fall;
Hear, in this solemn evening hour,
And in Thy mercy heal us all.
At even, ere the sun was set, The sick, O Lord, around Thee lay; O, with how many pains they met! O, with what joy they went away! It is a fact of medical science that fevers of disease become most acute during the waning hours of twilight, and so do the fevers of life. Impending darkness gathers in the rooms of our final good-byes, and it is a time of solemn reflection on life itself and the thing that matters most importantly – our place in God. Even though exhausted from traveling the dusty trails of Judaea and Galilee on foot, the Lord was ever compassionate on those who came to Him for relief and comfort. In sorrow and sickness they came to Him; and in joy and jubilation did they depart.
Once more ’tis eventide, and we, Oppressed with various ills, draw near; What if Thyself we cannot see? We know that Thou art ever near. Though the moment of coming face-to-face with our Maker is always the Present, the Present is never closer to Eternity Future than at the moment of death. Only a thin vel of mist separates the soul from God as death begins its iron grip. We shall all stand before Him for good or bad. At the very moment of our passing through that gossamer veil at Jordan Banks we are, as with the twinkling of the eye, before our Maker who is our Judge or Redeemer.
O Savior Christ, our woes dispel; For some are sick, and some are sad; And some have never loved Thee well, And some have lost the love they had.There is no love more forlorn than that which is scorned by a loved one; however, the love of Christ is steady and unceasing. He will never leave nor forsake us– even as our spirit and soul is separated at death from their earthy home. True love is eternal, and true love survives even death; but the temporary infatuation with religion that impersonates love may last only a moment, or even a decade, but fades away at last as the cares of the world overtake.
And none, O Lord, have perfect rest, For none are wholly free from sin; And they who fain would serve Thee best Are conscious most of wrong within. That believer whose life is most devoted to God suffers the greatest pangs of conscious conviction because he finds sin of such great repugnance. That is a Godly quality for God Himself could not behold the sins that His only Begotten Son suffered for us on the cross. He is Holy, and we must strive to be Holy. Though we fail out of feeble human strength, we are repulsed at the sins of others, but even more greatly by our own. In love, we constantly seek repentance and forgiveness which is offered in abundant measure by our Lord to all of His chosen ones.
O Savior Christ, Thou too art man; Thou has been troubled, tempted, tried; Thy kind but searching glance can scan The very wounds that shame would hide. Christ suffered every temptation that we could ever experience, yet, He never succumbed to any. Though He was the purest and most virtuous of all mankind, He was subjected to the greatest of all shame on the cross. His sinless and virtuous nature made Him modest in His dress and appearance; yet, while on the cross, He bore the sins of the world and was exposed, lifted up, naked for all to see. Though our wounds will be erased from our vesture in Heaven, One will bear the marks of His love for us evidenced by the nail prints and wounded side – our Lord Jesus Christ!
Thy touch has still its ancient power. No word from Thee can fruitless fall; Hear, in this solemn evening hour, And in Thy mercy heal us all. The most complete and astounding healing of disease and deformity occurs at the most surprising moment – the moment of death. He has told us that He goes to prepare a place for us that where He is, we may be also. His Word never fails of the fulfillment intended. “So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth: it shall not return unto me void, but it shall accomplish that which I please, and it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.” Isaiah 55:11 The same power that flung the planets into orbit and caused the earth to teem with the only life in the Universe has not grown less real than that first ray of Light “When the morning stars sang together, and all the sons of God shouted for joy.” Job 38:7 Jesus is still the Great Physician – the healer of the sick and wounded, and the restorer of life to those who sleep. He has never failed in His Word or Power, else all Creation and its elements would evaporate in a moment of intense heat. “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?” 2 Peter 3:12