Friday, June 06, 2008

Eternal Father

Posting about the death of Karl Sensmeier and his service to our nation has put me in a very melancholy mood.

Where do we find the people to replace them? I thank God for the men and woman who serve in our Armed Forces, but what about the citizens who are supposed to stand behind and beside them? Our GI's cannot do it alone. Love of country, honor and obligation to serve seem to have been abadoned by our youth.

Because we are a republic and not an autocracy, our strength as a nation has always been in our commitment, our focus and our culture. Our culture was strongly bound in our faith and this has been severely weakened through decades of neglect and abuse.

In the Old Testament we see time and again how Israel turns from God, faces devastation and ruin, repents, and finds all over again that they can conquer adversity through their Creator.

Our great Nation, perchance, is on the cusp of such a lession. May God help us all.

I come from a Navy family. The hymn, "Eternal Father Strong To Save" was first published in 1860. In 1879 it was first used to conclude worship services at the Naval Academy and it still is today. It is also known as the Navy Hymn.

The lyrics were written by Rev. William Whiting of the Church of England. The music was written by John B. Dykes, also of the COE, in 1861.

Original Lyrics:
Eternal Father, Strong to save,
Whose arm hath bound the restless wave,
Who bid'st the mighty Ocean deep
Its own appointed limits keep;
O hear us when we cry to thee
For those in peril on the sea.

O Christ! Whose voice the waters heard
And hushed their raging at Thy word,
Who walked'st on the foaming deep,
And calm amidst its rage didst sleep;
Oh hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

Most Holy spirit! Who didst brood
Upon the chaos dark and rude,
And bid its angry tumult cease,
And give, for wild confusion, peace;
Oh, hear us when we cry to Thee
For those in peril on the sea!

O Trinity of love and power!
Our brethren shield in danger's hour;
From rock and tempest, fire and foe,
Protect them wheresoe'er they go;
Thus evermore shall rise to Thee,
Glad hymns of praise from land and sea.

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