Abide With Me
Henry Francis Lyte, 1847
The preacher was dying of consumption. He knew it, and he was not afraid of it. His family and his congregation feared it, and so they wanted him to take things more easily. In fact, the preacher was going to Europe, to drier climes, to ease the trouble in his lungs. It was a journey from which he would not return.
As the story goes, he had attended at the bedside of a dying friend many years before, and when the sun was going down, his friend kept repeating, “Abide with me, abide with me.” So the preacher, who was also a poet, thought deeply about what his friend was saying, because it recalled the words of the disciples to the risen Jesus, when they were on the road with him and they did not know who he was, and the evening was coming on. “Abide with us, Lord,” they said, as Jesus made as if to continue on his journey. So he went with them into the inn, and he broke bread with them, and blessed it, and suddenly they recognized who had been their companion and teacher. The poe…
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