2020 was a year during which most of us struggled. COVID-19 broke out and, up till now, the world continues to contend with multiple layers of issues the pandemic has brought, such as the heightened use of technology in health, business, education, religion, the arts and even our personal and communal relationships. Today, we are all learning to embrace and cope with the “new normal”.
How do we see ourselves moving and God working in this? Let us use this hymn to reflect on this question.
The first stanza points us to the cross: the story of how God intervened and saved this sinful world. The cross reminds us of God’s everlasting love for us. This forms the premise on which we are to embrace the “new normal”. If technology is one that helps us cope with the world today, may it be consecrated for God’s purpose.
The second stanza reminds us that suffering continues to be the plight of many people. In His ministry, Jesus spent time with the hungry, homeless, marginalised and oppressed. He healed the sick, fed the hungry and comforted the needy. It was His deep compassion and love for people that stirred Him to do so. If COVID-19 has heightened our awareness of the needs of society, will our love for God move us to do as Jesus did?
Stanza three is an appeal for the Lord to reveal to us the needs and burdens to which we ought to pay attention. In response to His revelation, may we be quick to respond with love and every ounce of our energy poured to sharing Christ’s life.
As in the close of worship, the hymn calls us to go in His name. To every child, youth and aged we are to show God’s love, hope, mercy and peace. This is a very tall order to fill, but we know that we are able to do it with the love of God in us, kindled by the Holy Spirit.
LORD WHOSE LOVE IN HUMBLE SERVICE
Lord whose love in humble service
Bore the weight of human need
Who upon the cross forsaken
offered mercy’s perfect deed
We your servants bring the worship
Not of voice alone but heart
Consecrating to Your purpose
Ev’ry gift that You impart
Still Your children wander homeless
Still the hungry cry for bread
Still the captives long for freedom
Still in grief we mourn our dead
As O Lord in deep compassion
Healed the sick and freed the soul
use the love your Spirit kindles
still to save and make us whole
As we worship grant us vision
Till Your love’s revealing light
In its height and depth and greatness
Dawns upon our quicken sight
Making known the needs and burdens
Your compassion bids us bear
Stirring us to tireless striving
Your abundant life to share
Called by worship to your service.
forth in your dear name we go
to the child the youth the aged
love in living deeds to show
hope and health good will and comfort
counsel aid and peace we give
that your servants Lord in freedom
may your mercy know and live
Words: Albert F. Bayly, 1961, alt.
Music: BEACH SPRING, attr. to B.F. White, 1844; harm by Ronald A. Nelson, 1978
Judith Laoyan-Mosomos is the Director for Worship and Church Music at the Methodist School of Music, and a member of Kampong Kapor Methodist Church.