This is a hymn we need to think twice before using. No, it’s not because of the use of the term mankind, meaning all people. That’s pretty much a semantic issue that can be easily talked about, and probably, I would have altered the words if I thought it was a problem.
The issue is that for some people, the image of God as Father, or as male, is traumatic. It’s really important that you don’t force a hymn that uses this imagery on a congregation more used to inclusive texts, unless you’re really sure it’s a good fit.
For other folk, God as Father invokes the safety and comfort that the hymn writer intended, and for them, this hymn speaks strongly of our response to God’s care for us.
REST is perhaps my most favourite melody from my childhood. The phrase "speak through the earthquake, wind, and fire, O still, small voice of calm!" stuck with me enough that finally, some 50 years later, when the internet came along I was able to find the hymn again.
I’ve included it in the Hymnody Project because the words are so very appropriate, not only in penitential times like Lent, but also generally - the stress and busyness of modern life is a problem most of us need help dealing with, so I am delighted to share this hymn with you and your congregations.
You can't rush a tune named REST, so I have omitted a couple of verses to keep the duration down to about 3 minutes.
You can listen to this track in the player above, or preview the lyric video on our YouTube Channel.
Available as audio only, or as a Lyric Video in two sizes, this setting is a comfortable sing for all congregations. Please contact me if you'd like a version with all 6 verses.
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Interested in other keys or with different words? These options are available to our patrons. Contact us to discuss!