I am coming to the end of my sabbatical and found myself thinking about a wonderful picture I saw in an exhibition in Louisville, Kentucky about 23 years ago. The image has never left me and from time to time I find myself thinking about it again. The picture, by Thomas Faed (1826-1900) speaks to me of the compassion and care of God. In my own meditation on the painting yesterday, the words of the song ‘Bring Many Names’ by Brian Wren came to mind (see below).This morning, in our Issues of Faith Group in Orchard Place, we used the picture, and the words of the song and Luke 15.11-32 as the focal point our discussion. I thought others might find it helpful, too. (And no, I do not feel worn out!)
Thomas Faed - R.A. ARCA. HRSA. (British) 1826-1900
Bring many names, beautiful and good,
celebrate, in parable and story,
holiness in glory, living, loving God.
Hail and hosanna! Bring many names!
Strong mother God, working night and day,
planning all the wonders of creation,
setting each equation, genius at play:
Hail and hosanna, strong mother God!
Warm father God, hugging every child,
feeling all the strains of human living,
caring and forgiving till we're reconciled:
Hail and hosanna, warm father God!
Old, aching God, grey with endless care,
calmly piercing evil's new disguises,
glad of good surprises, wiser than despair:
Hail and hosanna, old aching God!
Young, growing God, eager, on the move,
saying no to falsehood and unkindness,
crying out for justice, giving all you have:
Hail and hosanna, young, growing God!
Great, living God, never fully known,
joyful darkness far beyond our seeing,
closer yet than breathing, everlasting home:
Hail and hosanna, great, living God!
Words: Brian Wren
Words © 1989, revised 1994 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
For permission to reproduce this hymn, contact:
In US, Canada, Australia & New Zealand: Hope Publishing Company, www.hopepublishing.com
Rest of the World: Stainer & Bell Ltd., www.stainer.co.uk
Music: Westchase, Waterdown
Meter: 9 10 11 9