Art, Poetry, Music, and Nature for the New Year
Monday, February 8 2021
The Reverend Dr. Katie Snipes Lancaster
Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send, and who will go for us?” And I said, “Here am I; send me!” Isaiah 6:8
This song is the pinnacle of Youth Sunday, the sweeping ballad with words that meet you where you are, no matter your life situation. The lyric, “we will run the race before us.” easily recalls for me Hebrews 12 which says, “Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” In other words, here may be trouble, injustice, hardship, embarrassment, ignorance, pain and struggle, but we have one another and those who have gone before us: let us carry on. There is a way forward.
And it’s no surprise that the composer, Ken Medema, would write a song like this. Having been born blind, he was shunned by playmates and said as a child “I spent a lot of time by myself. Because I have lived with some degree of being different all my life, I have some sympathy for people who have been disenfranchised, whether they have been disabled or politically oppressed or whatever.” His biographer says, “Though blind from birth, Ken sees and hears with heart and mind. His ability to capture spirit in word and song is unparalleled.”
May God meet you on the highway, play music by the roadside, stay with you on the long journey, so that you may run the road before you. Amen.
When I meet you on the highway
I will greet you with a song.
We’ll play music by the roadside
When the journey seems too long.
In the rain and in the fire
I will strain to hear you sing.
The Kingdom is our heart’s desire.
We are bound for greater things
We are bound for greater things,
Bound to walk a higher road.
Drawn by dreams and led by visions,
We will know the grace of God.
We will leave the past behind.
We will fly with eagles’ wings.
We will run the race before us.
We are bound for greater things!
Help me find the chains that bind me
As we walk into the light.
We can see with clearer vision
What confused us in the night.
The One who made the golden morning,
The One who gave our spirits wings
Gave us these hands to help each other
On our way to greater things.