A Rhythm Of Praise And Prayer
Praise the Lord, you servants of the Lord, from the rising of the sun to its going down. Psalm 113: 1, 3
Celtic Christians were in touch with the rhythms of each day, of the week (Saturday was a sabbath rest and Sunday a day of resurrection and renewal) and of the seasons, both of creation and of the church. They also knew about the rhythm of advance in mission and retreat in contemplation. There was a sense of rhythm in their poetry and their worship, which was not too centralised or wooden.
The focus of the following poem is Lindisfarne, the tidal island which reflected the ebb and flow of the sea, but God can inspire each of us to discover such a rhythm wherever we are today.
Ebb tide, full tide, praise the Lord of land and sea.
Barren rocks, darting birds, praise his holy name!
Poor folk, ruling folk, praise the Lord of land and sea.
Pilgrimed sands, sea-shelled strands, praise his holy name!
Fierce lions, gentle lambs, praise the Lord of land and sea.
Noble women, mission priests, praise his holy name!
Chanting boys, slaves set free, praise the Lord of land and sea.
Old and young and all the land, praise his holy name!
Ebb tide, full tide
Let life’s rhythms flow
Full tide, ebb tide
How life’s beat must go.
Here be the peace of those who do your will;
Here be the peace of brother serving other;
Here be the peace of holy ones obeying;
Here be the peace of praise by dark and day.