By Philip Powell
Words by John Ellerton 1826-1893
Music by Clement Cotterill Scholefield 1839-1904
The day Thou gavest, Lord, is ended,
The darkness falls at Thy behest;
To Thee our morning hymns ascended,
Thy praise shall sanctify our rest.
We thank Thee that Thy church, unsleeping,
While earth rolls onward into light,
Through all the world her watch is keeping,
And rests not now by day or night.
As o’er each continent and island
The dawn leads on another day,
The voice of prayer is never silent,
Nor dies the strain of praise away.
The sun that bids us rest is waking
Our brethren ’neath the western sky,
And hour by hour fresh lips are making
Thy wondrous doings heard on high.
So be it, Lord; Thy throne shall never,
Like earth’s proud empires, pass away:
Thy kingdom stands, and grows forever,
Till all Thy creatures own Thy sway.
Queen Victoria chose this hymn to be sung at the 60th anniversary of her reign in 1897; it was also sung at the ceremony when Britain returned control of Hong Kong to China in 1997. Both were significant occasions and I suppose the end of year is also significant. Where did 2008 go? May I suggest that those of our readers who hold a carol or New Year’s Eve watch night service sing the above hymn as part of the occasion.
Singing this around the world is just another way of showing our unity in Christ.
2008 has been a year of great challenge to many. Two of our dear associates were called to higher service. We mourned their passing, celebrated their lives and sensed the challenge to finish our own course with diligence and joy:
A dear husband, father and CWM colleague
February 1941 to May 2008
During my first ministry trip to Australia after my wife and I launched CWM in New Zealand Maureen, Terry’s wife offered to organise the distribution of CETF in Australia. Her husband Terry supported her in the activity throughout even to the extent of loaning money to build up the resource so as to make the operation viable. Terry struggled with his faith but thankfully made a definite commitment to Christ and came to know the Lord and find peace with God prior to his home call at the Sale hospital in Victoria following a short but severe sickness. Maureen writes: I would like to send my sincere thanks to all who have expressed their kind thoughts and prayers to myself and family. I have a daughter and grandchildren who live in Melbourne, and two sons who live in Loch Sport. They have been very supportive to me, but also friends and the wider Christian family through CWM. I certainly don’t feel alone, so thank you all. Through all this time of sadness Jesus has sustained me.
A dear wife, mother and CWM-Fellowship foundation member
October 1950 to August 2008
Frank and Annette Turvey joined the CWM-Fellowship shortly after we moved from New Zealand to Brisbane in June 2000. They were foundational members and have remained faithful and loyal. Annette fought breast cancer for several years and remained strong in faith throughout. What a fine witness she and her family were at the Wesley hospital in Brisbane during her last days with us. Frank Writes: I and my family would like to thank the faithful saints, many of whom are friends through CWM, who communicated their loving care and prayers of comfort to Annette during the past seven years. Her faith in the power of God led her to believe that He would either raise her up by healing her or take her home; either way she was on the Lord’s side. The Word of God says our days are numbered and we believe God preserved Annette’s life particularly in the last eight months, although cancer was raging in her body, until He called her home and unto Himself on 22 August 2008. She would have liked to personally express her thanks to each individual for their prayers and encouragement and on her behalf I do so as a loving and dedicated husband of 38 years to Annette, father to her four married children and grandfather to her 7 grandchildren and one on the way.
The next issue of CETF (# 47 – March 2009) is already presenting us with considerable financial and other challenges. As always we look to the Lord and ask for your prayers. I trust you enjoy, are instructed and challenged with the articles in the current issue.
May the Lord grant to us all His comfort, love, grace, provision and blessing into and over the Christmas season and as we move into 2009. God bless you.