Sunday 21 March 2010

A Pause In Lent #5

A Pause in Lent Floss

On Friday I was looking at yet another Michael Morpurgo book, and in the front was an interview with MM. He listed as his favourite piece of music 'Spem in Alium'. [what?]

So I said to Bob "Do you know 'Spem in Alium'?" and he promptly replied "Oh, it was Henry the Eighth's favourite meal, it is Latin for 'Spam in Garlic'!" after I had groaned, he told me it was actually a piece of music by Thomas Tallis, and got his PC to play it for me. [How does he know all this stuff?]

OK, it was in Latin, and renaissance polyphony, not my usual style - but I have to admit, I did enjoy listening to it. The title comes from the first line

Spem in alium nunquam habui praeter in te Deus Israel

which translates

I have never put my hope in any other but in you, O God of Israel

and is taken from the book of Judith, in the Apocrypha.

That set me thinking about other pieces of music which take as their theme 'Hope in God'. First of all Isaac Watts' hymn from Psalm 146 - I'll praise my maker [John Wesley is said to have sung this hymn on his death bed.]

I’ll praise my Maker while I’ve breath,
And when my voice is lost in death,
Praise shall employ my nobler powers;
My days of praise shall ne’er be past,
While life, and thought, and being last,
Or immortality endures.

Happy the man whose hopes rely
on Israel's God
: he made the sky,
and earth, and seas, with all their train;
his truth for ever stands secure,
he saves the oppressed, he feeds the poor,
and none shall find his promise vain.

Then I thought of

My hope is built on nothing less
Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,
But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,
All other ground is sinking sand

In a world which seems to be struggling, stressed, and hope-less, isn't it great that we can share the Good News, that in Jesus we do have hope?

On the radio this week, I have listened to news stories about the Pope apologising for the mistakes of the bishops, the politicians trying to sort out the reckless miscalculations of the banks, and loads of travellers discovering they cannot trust 'the world's favourite airline' to get them to their destination.

I am glad my hope is somewhere eternally unchanging, and utterly reliable.

So on this 5th Sunday of Lent,

May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.


  1. Thank you for this as always, I think I could do with you help on explaining the resurection to the minimads if possible

  2. Thanks so much for sharing this encouraging news about your new friend at church.

    Blessings for a good week!


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