Thursday, March 22, 2012

A Hymn

We sang this in church a few weeks ago and I’ve kept the lyrics here on my desk, close by, ever since. They both intrigue and please me!
by Charlie Leck

We’ve a terribly talented pastor at our church – several of them, as a matter of fact, but I’m thinking about the senior pastor (though, I’m getting myself in trouble here; for they are all very talented). James Gertmenian is, however, something special. He’s an extraordinary thinker who can also express himself with incredible clarity. That’s a rare combination.

Mind you, Gertmenian is a progressive – or liberal, if you like. To me, it matters not. He’s a man in lockstep with his Lord and he’s a faithful and eager disciple. He preaches quietly, but he’s deeply inspirational. He is Armenian in nationality background and it leaves its mark on him. He’s proud of that and speaks emotionally about it on occasion.

Here, however, I want to let you know that he’s also dabbled in writing a few hymns. We sang one in church on that Sunday a few weeks ago. Jim was obviously not just dabbling when he wrote this one. Hoping I don’t get into copyright trouble, I want to produce the lyrics it here for you, so you might think about them (and perhaps be as intrigued as I by this hymn).

The hymn (based on Romans 8:26), When Creation’s Myriad Wonders, was written by James Gertmenian in 2005.

When creation’s myriad wonders
Stun to silence human speech
Words unraveled, syntax sundered,
Thoughts beyond our hobbled reach.
Hear, O God, our stilled devotion,
Wordless songs of awe and praise,
Psalms of truest, mute emotion,
Music that our yearning plays.

When our prayers find no expression,
Language failing, sterile seed,
When the mind makes no concession
To the soul’s compelling need.
Plant within us Spirit’s sighing,
Prayers of prayerless, fertile sound.
Nuture up our stammered crying;
Harvest hope from rocky ground.

When a love beyond deserving
Comes to us from one we know,
Or when grace, still more unnerving,
Breaks the ice and starts to flow.
Teach our gratitude to follow
Loves bold current where it leads,
Til the heart that languished, hollow,
Fills to brimming and is freed.

When the daunting work before us
Drowns our will to think and plan.
When the needy hungry chorus
Floods each struggling moment’s span;
Be, O God, the rock beneath us,
Holding through the frenzied tide,
Patience, courage, calm bequeath us;
Strength to trust and to abide.

God, your glory shatters bound’ ries;
Time transcended, cups o’er flowed.
How can mind on limits foundered
Fathom such a love bestowed?
So when words are weak and fraying
Or when intellect is strained,
Hear our very bodies praying;
Let our joy rise uncontained.

The hymn was sung to splendid, triumphant music composed by Ian Kellam in 2006. Oh, my! It was wonderful!

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