Friday, February 28, 2014

A Tribute to the Sons and Daughters of Consolation

Here is a beautiful tribute to those who devote themselves to the shepherding and encouragement of others. It recognizes the example of St. Barnabas, the "Son of Consolation."  I discovered this delightful little gem in an old 1914 hymnal from my collection this morning:

O Son of God, our captain of salvation,
Thyself by suffering schooled to human grief,
We bless Thee for Thy sons of consolation,
Who follow in the steps of Thee their chief.
Those whom Thy Spirit’s dread vocation severs
To lead the vanguard of Thy conquering host;
Whose toilsome years are spent in brave endeavors
To bear Thy saving name from coast to coast.
Those whose bright faith makes feeble hearts grow stronger,
And sends fresh warriors to the great campaign,
Bids the lone convert feel estranged no longer,
And wins the sundered to be one again.
And all true helpers, patient, kind, and skillful,
Who shed Thy light across our darkened earth,
Counsel the doubting, and restrain the willful,
Soothe the sick bed, and share the children’s mirth.
Such was Thy Levite, strong in self oblation,
To cast his all at Thine apostles’ feet;
He whose new name, through every Christian nation,
From age to age our thankful strains repeat.
Thus, Lord, Thy bless├Ęd saints in memory keeping,
Still be Thy Church’s watchword, Comfort ye,
Till in our Father’s house shall end all weeping,
And every want be satisfied in Thee.

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