O Young and Fearless Prophet

We sang this hymn in church this morning and parts of it really spoke to me. The words were written by Ralph Harlow, 1885- 1972 and the music was composed by John B. Dykes, 1823-1876. I have highlighted some of the passages that seemed especially poignent and timely to me.

O young and fearless Prophet
of ancient Galilee,
thy life is still a summons
to serve humanity;
to make our thoughts and actions
less prone to please the crowd,
to stand with humble courage
for truth with hearts uncowed.

We marvel at the purpose
that held thee to thy course
while ever on the hilltop
before thee loomed the cross;
thy steadfast face set forward
where love and duty shone,
while we betray so quickly
and leave thee there alone.
O help us stand unswerving
against war’s bloody way,

where hate and lust and falsehood
hold back Christ’s holy sway;
forbid false love of country
that blinds us to his call,
who lifts above the nations
the unity of all.

Stir up in us a protest
against our greed for wealth,
while others starve and hunger
and plead for work and health;

where homes with little children
cry out for lack of bread,
who live their years sore burdened
beneath a gloomy dread.

O young and fearless Prophet,
we need thy presence here,
amid our pride and glory
to see thy face appear;
once more to hear thy challenge
above our noisy day,
again to lead us forward
along God’s holy way.

Again, that highlighting is my own. Also be aware that there are a few different versions of the words to this hymn. What I have reprinted here are ones I found on the web, and not those exact ones we sang. I need to get a copy of Singing The Living Tradition, the Unitarian Universalist hymnal, I just havent’ yet.

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