Guide Me Ever, Great Redeemer (ELW 618)
1 Guide me ever, great Redeemer,
pilgrim through this barren land.
I am weak, but you are mighty;
hold me with your pow’rful hand.
Bread of heaven, bread of heaven,
feed me now and evermore,
feed me now and evermore.
2 Open now the crystal fountain
where the healing waters flow;
let the fire and cloudy pillar
lead me all my journey through.
Strong deliv’rer, strong deliv’rer,
shield me with your mighty arm,
shield me with your mighty arm.
3 When I tread the verge of Jordan,
bid my anxious fears subside;
death of death and hell’s destruction,
land me safe on Canaan’s side.
Songs and praises, songs and praises
I will raise forevermore,
I will raise forevermore.
This hymn, written in its original form by William Williams, an itinerant Methodist preacher in Wales in the late 18th century, speaks of the challenges of life that sometimes make us feel as though we are living in a barren land cut off from God and all that is good. In spite of all the difficulties Williams endured—walking more than 2200 miles a year to share the good news of Jesus—he speaks confidently of the assurance that in the good as well as the bad, God continues to provide all that is needed.
His words are a good reminder that we are never alone. Through the healing waters of our baptism into Christ, we can live in the confidence that God continues to go ahead of us to lead, hold, enfold, and equip us so that we can get up each day and continue the journey, doing whatever we can to share the good news of Jesus—sometimes even using words!
Sustaining God, continue to lead, feed, and embolden us today to use the gifts you pour out upon us that we might do whatever we can to make the world a more life-giving and less anxious place for those who would delight in a shared meal or the opportunity to sleep in a soft bed for even one day. Amen.