hymn that i love to hate: a meme

Doug Chaplin was inspired by my meme last week, only he claimed that it may have been theologically snobbish since it excluded traditional hymns (so sue me 😉 ). So he has started a meme, and I was also tagged by Amanda.

So first, here’s the meme.

  1. Choose a hymn that you love to hate. It must be in a widely used and current hymn-book.
  2. Say why.
  3. Tag three people.

And the Winner is for me: Restless Weaver.

Restless Weaver, ever spinning threads of justice and peace; dreaming patterns of creation where all creatures find a home; gathering up life’s varied fibers, every texture, every hue; grant us your creative vision. With us weave your world anew.

Where earth’s fragile web is raveling help us mend each broken strand. Bless our urgent, bold endeavors cleansing water, air and land. Through the Spirit’s inspiration offering health were there once was pain-strengthen us to be the stewards of your world knit whole again.

When our violent lust for power ends in lives abused and torn, from compassion’s study fabric fashion hope and trust reborn. Where injustice rules as tyrant, give us courage, God to dare live our dreams of transformation. Make our lives incarnate prayer.

Restless Weaver, still conceiving new life-now and yet to be-binding all of your vast creation into one living tapestry, you have called us to be weavers. Let your love guide all we do. With your Reign of Peace our pattern, we will weave your world anew.

Words: O.I. Cricket Harrison, 1988, rev. 1993
Music: Attr. B.F. White, 1844, harm. Ronald A. Nelson 1978
Words copyright 1995 Chalice Press, harm copyright 1978 Lutheran Book of Worship

Where do I begin?

Okay, yeah, okay, I am down with the whole Christians doing social justice thing, but you know what? I do not believe that God is restless, in fact, I believe that the beginning of Jews and Christians doing justice starts with the idea that God rested on the Sabbath. One of the ways that YHWH begins to undermine the institution of human enslavement is the very requirement of a Sabbath (Exodus chapters 16 & 35, just for starters).

It seems to me, with all the statistics of pastors getting burned out from “doing too much ministry,” that metaphor of Restless Weaver seems far inappropriate.

And lastly, I hate to go all Neibuhr up in here, but we as human beings cannot bring about the new creation through our own actions; rather only God can do that alone (reference to the last verse).

I really feel bad for posting this, especially since the author is a TCU alum, but oh well.

If you read this post, consider yourself tagged.

10 thoughts on “hymn that i love to hate: a meme

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  2. Doug Chaplin

    Well, this was a new one to me, so not exactly thanks for acquainting me with it 😉

    And (just so you know!) the “snobbery” comment was what I was accused of by a commenter on the CCM post which is why I picked it up in the hymn one.

    Reply
  3. Jane Quandt

    “Restless” is not referring to a lack of rest. It’s suggesting that God is restless/agitated and I surely hope that is so. For the love of us I hope God isn’t satisfied with things the way they are and that God is working very hard with us and through us to weave more justice and unity into the fiber of this world.

    Sorry to respond to your article so late, but I’m preaching on this hymn this Sunday and just found your blog about it.

    Reply
  4. ede levarg

    /-God already knows the outcome. Don’t know why He would be agitated. As a spinner/weaver myself, I was surprised to find any hymn with these refs, but your blog makes a good point scripturally. Sounds like author was seeing how badly we’ve treated the earth and was bemoaning the situation (rightly). Just not accurately.

    Reply
  5. Rev. Ruth Schulenberg

    Here’s a helpful perspective from Harrison herself (who is a Disciples of Christ minister) in an interview with someone who looks st it from an apparently feminist LDS vantage point:

    “Restless Weaver–not restless as in not sleeping but always moving, always bringing new life to be. Threads of justice and shalom-a single thread has a breaking point but bring several together they are stronger” http://rationalfaiths.com/restless-weaver/

    Reply
    1. Al Battles II Post author

      Thank you Reverend Schulenberg. Although this post is several years old, the link is a helpful clarification. As a TCU and Brite alumni, I was aware of Harrison’s DOC background, and at one point at every graduation and commencement, they sung the hymn up until recently. Perhaps someone up high is listening. 😉

      Reply

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