A Hymn for Meditation

hymnalAbide with Me

Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.

Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.

I need Thy presence every passing hour;
What but Thy grace can foil the tempter’s pow’r?
Who, like Thyself, my guide and stay can be?
Through cloud and sunshine, Lord, abide with me.

I fear no foe, with Thee at hand to bless;
Ills have no weight, and tears no bitterness;
Where is death’s sting? Where, grave, thy victory?
I triumph still, if Thou abide with me.

Hold Thou Thy cross before my closing eyes;
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies;
Heav’n’s morning breaks, and earth’s vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.

By Henry F. Lyte

  • This hymn was written by a man who suffered a terminal illness. When he looked forward, he saw death, and this was his response. Name some of the positive things he sees in his future.
  • How does the change of perspective from time to eternity change the way things look in verse 2?
  • What elements in these verses apply equally to all followers of Christ at all times?
  • What symbol is the key to the power of the faith expressed in this hymn?
  • This hymn debuted at a memorial service for its author. Think of three other occasions on which this hymn would be appropriate.