Wednesday, 16 September 2009

My Lord, you wore no royal crown

We are now well into the season of Inductions. I began with the induction of Rev'd John Lockley at Bushey, and last Saturday the induction of Rev'd Lou Webber at Christ the King, Kents Hill (part of the Walton LEP). Both were really good occasions with a great buzz at the commencement of a new chapter in the life of these communities. This Saturday is the inauguration of Alan Smith as the Bishop of St Albans, which I'm looking forward to.

One thing that fascinates me is the choice of hymns/songs and I'll come back to this at the close of the season which will be the end of November. I was reflecting on my choice at my ordination and inductions. Certainly on two occasions I included Christopher Idle's hymn, 'My Lord, you wore no royal crown'. What I find hard to believe is that I've never sung this hymn anywhere else unless I've chosen it! And as I looked at the words, set to the folk tune, I found myself asking, 'Why?' The tune is Waly, Waly, which is a perfect marriage. And the last verse still brings a lump to my throat.

My Lord, you wore no royal crown;
you did not wield the powers of state,
nor did you need a scholar's gown
or priestly robe, to make you great.

You never used a killer's sword
to end an unjust tyranny;
your only weapon was your word,
for truth alone could set us free.

You did not live a world away
in hermit's cell or desert cave,
but felt our pain and shared each day
with those you came to seek and save.

You made no mean or cunning move,
chose no unworthy compromise,
but carved a track of burning love
through tangles of deceit and lies.

You came unequaled, undeserved,
to be what we were meant to be;
to serve, instead of being served,
a light for all the world to see.

So when I stumble, set me right;
command my life as you require;
let all your gifts be my delight
and you, my Lord, my one desire.

4 comments:

Catriona said...

It is indeed a beautiful hymn - though until you posted it I'd never heard of it. Having just checked it in Hymn Quest I guess it's hardly surprising the average Baptist doesn't know it as it isn't in any of the books they might use, which is sad because we clearly miss out as a result.

jim Gordon said...

We used this hymn often in Crown Terrace in Aberdeen. it is one of the most beautiful communion hymns I know and I'm glad to be reminded of it Geoff. Crown terrace for a number of years used Hymns of Faith, an unjustly underused hymn book, I think.

Glen Marshall said...

New one on me too. Looks brilliant too. Now to look up the tune.

Phil Jump said...

You hum it - I'll play it