Today's reflection is from Rev Lorette
Our second hymn in this series God of grace and God of Glory is one whose words maybe unfamiliar but it is more commonly sung to the great Welsh tune: Cwm Rhondda, a fact that Fosdick blamed on Methodists having originally set to another tune called ‘Regent Square’!
This hymn was written by Harry Emerson Fosdick in 1930. He was born in Buffalo, New York in 1878. He attended and graduated from Colgate University in 1900 and received a Bachelor in Divinity degree from Union Theological Seminary in 1904. He also received a Master of Arts degree from Columbia University in 1908. During his high school years and into his years at the university, he became known as a maverick. He was dubbed as “the Jesse James” of the theological world. He supported U.S. involvement in WW I and served as a chaplain in France in 1917.
Fosdick was ordained as a Baptist minister in 1903 at the Madison Avenue Baptist Church in Manhattan. After his service in France, he was called to the First Presbyterian Church in New York in 1918 and served there until 1925. He only agreed to do so on condition that a new church would be built in a less fashionable place. The site selected for Riverside Church was on the banks of the Hudson, not far from Harlem. Fosdick wrote this hymn at his summer home in Maine in 1930 for the opening service of Riverside Church that autumn. It was sung as the processional hymn for that service on October 5 and again at the dedication service on February 8, 1931.
This hymn is a prayer for God's help for the church to live in God's power and love with generosity and progress toward social justice.
Fosdick’s career spanned two world wars, a great depression and reached into the Vietnam War before dying in 1969. He produced 50 books, thousands of sermons, articles, and lectures. He was in the mainstream of liberal Christianity from 1900 until the 1960s.
Consider these inspiring words.