August 4, 2020
“You know Him because He abides with you, and will be in you.” John 14:17
In America it is the Super Bowl, in England it’s the FA Cup. The biggest sporting event of the year. This past Saturday was the FA Cup Final in England. There were no fans in the stands this year, but Emeli Sande still sang a popular song that is always sung before the FA Cup Final. A song that was first sung at the funeral of Henry Lyte, 173 years ago.
Henry had a difficult childhood with a father who abandoned the family, followed later by the death of his mother. As a young man he was without the mother he loved, or the father who should have loved him. At age 23 he had an experience that changed his life. He was beside a dying man who witnessed to him about putting your trust in God and His Word. Henry put his trust in God that day and lived the rest of his life sharing about the abiding love of God. He would preach many sermons and write hymns in his life, but the most loved hymn would be the one he gave to his family after preaching his last sermon. A month later it would be sung at his funeral. Abandoned by his earthly father, Henry found peace in the God who promised to abide with him.
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, O 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.
Heaven's morning breaks, and earth's vain shadows flee;
In life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.
This year we may be isolated in a lockdown, or missing loved ones, but let’s find comfort in a prayer God will surely answer; O Lord, abide with me!