Octo-Days Rolling In

October 7, 2019


 Even when I walk through the darkest valley, I will not be afraid, for you are close beside me. Your rod and your staff protect and comfort me. …. You honor me by anointing my head with oil. My cup overflows with blessings. Surely your goodness and unfailing love will pursue me all the days of my life…. (Psalm 23:4-6 NLT)

 Octo – Days Rolling In

 It’s my 73rd October. I’m not sure at what age I suddenly was surprised by its arrival – but from what I hear in conversation I am not alone in this. A classic line from the inventor of poetry as congregational hymn runs through my alleged mind.

 “Time, like an ever-rolling stream, 
Bears all its sons away; 
They fly forgotten, as a dream  
Dies at the opening day.”

 Isaac Watt wrote that around 1700 so it isn’t inclusive in language, but it is evocative of life experience. Time moves inexorably and we with it – but we can be aware that there is a stream of the Spirit that we are also caught up in – just not measured in hours and minutes.

 The Hymn “O God Our Help in Ages Past” has become a bit of a cliché – to be played in a movie when re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic. Yet while being a clear-eyed statement of the sometimes-painful pace of life and loss it frames it with a powerful statement of faith in God. – Let it be our prayer today

 A Prayer for Today

 Our God, our help in ages past, 
   Our hope for years to come, 
Our shelter from the stormy blast, 
   And our eternal home: 

 Under the shadow of thy throne 
   Thy saints have dwelt secure; 
Sufficient is thine arm alone, 
   And our defense is sure. 

 Time, like an ever-rolling stream, 
   Bears all its sons away; 
They fly forgotten, as a dream 
   Dies at the opening day.