I went to a service on Sunday evening at St. Andrew’s Kirk, a Scottish Presbyterian church here in Chennai which I like and sometimes attend. The Kirk is a beautiful, towering white steeple with wooden benches that spread outward from the pulpit in a half-circle. The pews arc and stack, row after row, toward the wide-open windows and doors which welcome, on all sides, the breeze and the mosquitoes and the congregation alike. Like ripples in a holy pond.
Under the lacquered wooden frame that serves to hold the clear, bright bulbs and overhead fans, we sang a hymn. And it brought to mind all of you, springing forward and awaking and rolling onward into light.
The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.
As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.
The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ’neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.
So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.