St. Andrew's Day: Calling Us O'er the Tumult…

Today is St. Andrew’s Day, usually the first major saint’s day in Advent.  He’s also not only the patron saint of Scotland; he was also the saint after which my prep school was named.  (It’s having problems of its own these days, but that’s another post…)

In any case, at chapel time we always sang the same hymn: “Jesus Calls Us O’er the Tumult,” and a suitably Anglican organ rendition is below:

The words are as follows (the YouTube video page includes them in Gaelic):

Jesus calls us; o’er the tumult
of our life’s wild, restless sea,
day by day his clear voice soundeth,
saying, “Christian, follow me;”

As, of old, Saint Andrew heard it
by the Galilean lake,
turned from home and toil and kindred,
leaving all for his dear sake.

Jesus calls us from the worship
of the vain world’s golden store;
from each idol that would keep us,
saying, “Christian, love me more.”

In our joys and in our sorrows,
days of toil and hours of ease,
still he calls, in cares and pleasures,
“Christian, love me more than these.”

Jesus calls us! By thy mercies,
Saviour, may we hear thy call,
give our hearts to thine obedience,
serve and love thee best of all.

St. Andrew and the other apostles left it all to follow their Lord, even unto death.  Unfortunately, the Episcopal Church I grew up in–hymns like this notwithstanding–tended to “pull punches” on the commitment level they thought proper of their parishioners.  It either was in bad taste to go “all out” for Jesus Christ or the message got lost in social liberalism, a problem which will be inscribed on the church’s tombstone.

My exhortation–especially to my Anglican and Roman Catholic friends who visit here–is that the life-transforming nature of the encounter with Jesus Christ never get lost either in our worldliness or in our “churchianity.”

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