Hymn: “Jesus Calls Us O’er the Tumult” – Cecil Frances Alexander (1818-1895)
Typical Tune: GALILEE
Alexander was an Irish hymn writer. Her other long-standing hymns are “All Things Bright and Beautiful” and “There Is a Green Hill Far Away,” This one about the call of Christ coming to us above the struggles and conflicts which might easily drown out his sweet voice saying “Christian, follow me,” and “Christian, love me more.”
The hymn-line I have chosen from many possibilities in this text is part of the final stanza as she pleads with Christ in his great mercy to be sure that we hear his call – that we might open our hearts to obey him, serve him, and love him more than we love anything or anyone else.
What strikes me is that her prayer – and ours as we sing it – is that we might hand over our hearts into the realm of full obedience to all his callings… those mentioned in the earlier stanzas and those yet to come in our pilgrimage of faith.
Thank you, long-gone Irish poet. May your words move us to hear fully, obey willingly, serve extensively, and love extravagantly.