“Where Cross the Crowded Ways of Life” (ELW 719)
1 Where cross the crowded ways of life,
where sound the cries of race and clan,
above the noise of selfish strife,
we hear your voice, O Son of Man.
2 In haunts of wretchedness and need,
on shadowed thresholds dark with fears,
from paths where hide the lures of greed,
we catch the vision of your tears.
3 From tender childhood’s helplessness,
from human grief and burdened toil,
from famished souls, from sorrow’s stress,
your heart has never known recoil.
4 The cup of water giv’n for you
still holds the freshness of your grace;
yet long these multitudes to view
the strong compassion in your face.
5 O Master, from the mountainside
make haste to heal these hearts of pain;
among these restless throngs abide;
oh, tread the city’s streets again;
6 Till all the world shall learn your love
and follow where your feet have trod;
till glorious from your heav’n above
shall come the city of our God.
We began this week hearing the prophet Jeremiah call us to be instruments of peace. Then we joined Psalm 89 in its longing to experience God’s steadfast love and faithfulness here and now. Romans 6 urged us to live like the redeemed children of God we are, and our Gospel reading from Matthew 10 taught us some ways to do so—by loving our neighbors, caring for ourselves, and faithfully enduring hardships.
I write to you during the troubled time of a pandemic, and I imagine life will still be challenging by the time you read this. Today’s hymn gives us hope in the midst of despair: a day is coming when suffering will cease and death will die. A day is coming when all will know God’s love and follow God’s ways. The heavens will open and God will finally come to make God’s home here among us in peace and grace and love.
We await that day with eager longing, and while we wait, we remember that our God is faithful and full of steadfast love.
Faithful God of steadfast love, awaken hope within our hearts, give us patience while we wait, and open our eyes to see your coming. Amen.