by Dave Yarusso
Let Streams of Living Justice Flow:
One of my favorite hymn tunes is from Gustav Holst and it is used in two hymns in our hymnal: #710 “Let Streams of Living Justice Flow,” text by William Whitla, and #880 “O God beyond All Praising,” text by Michael Perry. To me, the music here is extremely powerful, with or without the words but both of these hymn texts are inspiring as well. For today, let’s look at the words to “Let the Streams of Justice Flow:”
Let streams of living justice flow down upon the earth;
give freedom’s light to captives, let all the poor have worth.
The hungry’s hands are pleading, the workers claim their rights,
the mourners long for laughter, the blinded seek for sight.
Make liberty a beacon, strike down the iron pow’r;
abolish ancient vengeance: proclaim your people’s hour.
For healing of the nations, for peace that will not end,
for love that makes us lovers, God grant us grace to mend.
Weave our varied gifts together; knit our lives as they are spun;
on your loom of time enroll us till our thread of life is run.
O great weaver of our fabric, bind church and world in one;
dye our texture with your radiance, light our colors with your sun.
Your city’s built to music; we are the stones you seek;
your harmony is language; we are the words you speak.
Our faith we find in service, our hope in others’ dreams,
our love in hand of neighbor, our homeland brightly gleams.
Inscribe our hearts with justice; your way – the path untried;
your truth – the heart of stranger; your life – the Crucified.
This hymn provides a beautiful image of our hope for helping bring God’s kingdom to reality on earth and our role in that. I love the imagery of the second verse with God as weaver or knitter binding us together in a fabric. The third verse ties our faith to service in the world. Even in this difficult time, we are trying innovative ways to maintain that service to those in need. If you can find a recording of this hymn, I encourage you to listen to it or listen to the Jupiter movement of Holst’s “The Planets” to feel the power of this music to help you feel hopeful. I find myself listening to music a lot during my time at home and it is a source of strength.
God, help us use this time of quiet and inactivity to seek you in new ways. Help us feel your presence. Calm us in our fear. Strengthen us in our resolve to continue to seek your justice on earth. Amen.
Dave Yarusso is a retired chemical engineer who normally spends his time volunteering with Habitat for Humanity, Panera bread ministry, the Guatemala team and other work of the Social Justice Committee. He is married to Barb who is in choir and bell choir. His son, Tony, is also in the choir. He is a former member of the Congregation Council. Dave loves spending time outdoors and has been working on finishing a cabin near Two Harbors, MN on Silver Creek.