Jesus calls us; o'er the tumult
of our life's wild, restless sea,
day by day his clear voice sounding,
saying, "Christian, follow me":
As of old Saint Andrew heard it
by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and toil and kindred,
leaving all for Jesus' sake.
Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world's golden store,
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, "Christian, love me more."
In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
"Christian, love me more than these."
Jesus calls us! By your mercy,
Savior, may we hear your call,
give our hearts to your obedience,
serve and love you best of all.
Cecil Frances Humphreys Alexander (1818-1895) wrote "Jesus Calls Us; o'er the Tumult" for Saint Andrew's Day and the gospel texts about Jesus' call. This hymn relates nicely to this week's theme of God's call to "love me more." The first verse reminds us of the literally and figuratively rough seas Jonah encountered when he ran from God's call. All four fishermen Christ called were well-acquainted with rough seas; verse 2 sometimes reads "apostles" rather than only "Andrew." The final verses remind us of the texts' emphases on solely trusting and responding to God above all else.
Alexander, an Irish laywoman, responded to God's call by writing approximately 400 hymns and poems, mostly for children. Additionally, she and her sister shared God's love by operating a school for children who were deaf and, therefore, ones whom society might have considered "the least of these." The sale of her successful children's hymnal helped fund this school.
Merciful God, we extol your "clear voice" that calls us to love and follow you. Yet many times we let the din of our daily lives drown out your call; forgive us. Thank you for your servants, such as the apostles and Cecil, who heard and responded to your calls. Together, laypeople and clergy, let the Christian Church unite in sharing your love with all people. Amen.