Abide with Me

25 Apr


April 25, 2020

Day 33

Today is Anzac Day in New Zealand and Australia. Normally there are ceremonies held at dawn at war memorials, cemeteries and Maori maraes all across the country to commemorate all New Zealanders who served and died in all wars and conflicts and the contribution of all who have served. Because it encompasses members of all races and creeds and unites everyone in remembrance of those that gave their all for the nation, there is no more important day in the year. 

This Anzac Day was unlike any other that has ever been celebrated because people everywhere, though in full lockdown, standing in their driveways or gardens or apart but together in public places, still found ways to honour and remember their countrymen, family and friends. In so doing, they showed why this nation is special. When adversity challenges them they rally as one to steadfastly, quietly and resolutely do what must be done.  There is no greater testament to this country and her people than the way they celebrate Anzac Day.

Here is proof. If you take the time to read and watch all of the different articles and features contained in this link, you will begin to see what I have. Truly and sincerely a moving tribute to a people and a country. Enjoy.

https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/121260057/live-kiwis-commemorate-extraordinary-anzac-day-in-covid19-lockdown

And though it all, the numbers must be counted.

AApr25NZCov
5 New cases. 23 Recovered cases. Ratio of recovered cases to active cases is 76%. (Nothing in the Zero department.) Another day, another death. Bless them and bless us. It could be much worse.



Usually toward the end of April the skies turn gray and cold and Anzac Day often has a somber feel to it. Today was different. A brilliant red dawn and later, a bright and beautiful day greeted those who rose early to stand and remember.

Tradition at services on Anzac Day calls for the singing of Abide with Me. The hymn is a prayer for God to remain present with the speaker throughout life, through trials, and through death. 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=szjYUaF3nro&feature=youtu.be&fbclid=IwAR1RGI21RD_vIZr4PvW-e9vq4FDuqASxUvb1X5xG-DoSGFcvXMbj6zoHmfg

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord with me abide.
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, O abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim; its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see;
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

Not a brief glance I beg, a passing word,
But as Thou dwell’st with Thy disciples, Lord,
Familiar, condescending, patient, free.
Come not to sojourn, but abide with me.

Come not in terror, as the King of kings,
But kind and good, with healing in Thy wings;
Tears for all woes, a heart for every plea.
Come, Friend of sinners, thus abide with me.

Thou on my head in early youth didst smile,
And though rebellious and perverse meanwhile,
Thou hast not left me, oft as I left Thee.
On to the close, O Lord, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour.
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s power?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness.
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

8 Responses to “Abide with Me”

  1. Justin April 25, 2020 at 5:00 pm #

    A touching tribute to honor, recognize,appreciate, and express gratitude to those who made the ultimate sacrifice. It will never measure up to the debt we owe. Our current adversary is real and upon us.

    • dmmacilroy April 25, 2020 at 9:16 pm #

      Dear Justin,

      Thank you for being here for this Anzac Day post. Your observations are on point and cogent and your discerning soul present in your words.

      Please be careful out there.

      Sincerely,

      Doug

  2. Russell Gayer April 25, 2020 at 6:55 pm #

    What a wonderful post. You are blessed to live in such a place.
    I really enjoyed the hymn too. Faith is a great thing to have. It gives us something to cling to in good times, and especially in bad.

    • dmmacilroy April 25, 2020 at 9:22 pm #

      Dear Russell,

      Thank you for your kind words. You are right. I love the hymn, too. And faith is a rock.

      My best to you and Connie.

      Stay safe.

      Cheers,

      Doug

  3. rochellewisoff April 25, 2020 at 7:43 pm #

    Dear Doug,

    In life, in death…Oh Lord abide with me. Beautiful hymn, wonderful YouTube video tribute and of course your writing. I love seeing the numbers of new cases going down. May it be so worldwide. Blessings to you both.

    Shalom,

    Rochelle

    • dmmacilroy April 25, 2020 at 9:17 pm #

      Dear Rochelle,

      Yes, and thank you.

      Amen.

      Yours,

      Doug

  4. sustainabilitea April 25, 2020 at 10:52 pm #

    That hymn has been a favorite for my entire life. We used to sing it at the end of every mid-week Lenten service, although our hymnal didn’t have all these verses and had a few different ones, if I recall correctly. Sage words for the times…and for all times.

    janet

    • dmmacilroy April 26, 2020 at 1:36 am #

      Hi Janet,

      Yes, the hymn has a wide variety of verses as one would expect for a composition almost two centuries old and widely beloved. I’m glad you liked it and said so.

      Stay safe.

      Cheers,

      Doug

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