I was the little girl Steve spoke about in his sermon the week before last. I am the one who always reads the end of books; and my favorite ending of all is Revelation 22.
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will serve him. 4 They will see his face, and his name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.The first and only time I ever heard Paul Manz' "E'en So Lord Jesus Quickly Come" was nearly forty years ago, sung by the Notre Dame Choir at mass one Sunday. I have never forgotten this music, a sublime union of word and melody. Tonight I was thrilled to discover it sung perfectly, by '09-'10 Augustana Choir, conducted by Dr. Jon Hurty. The choir performed at St. Paul Lutheran Church in Davenport, IA. According to this source, "The text was written when Paul Manz's child was near death, during a night of worry and prayer. It is one of the few Christian hymns and anthems that manages to capture the powerful combination of lament and trust at the same time."
Paul Manz was 90 when he died, on October 28, 2009. The Free Republic reports that he was surrounded by family and that they sang "E'en So, Lord Jesus, Quickly Come" as he departed. I can think of no better way to be ushered from this life into Christ's presence, and I hope this piece will be able to be sung or played for my funeral service.
Peace be to you and grace from Him
Who freed us from our sins;
Who loved us all and shed his blood
That we might saved be.
Sing Holy, Holy to our Lord,
THe Lord Almighty God,
Who was and is and is to come;
Sing Holy, Holy Lord!
Rejoice in Heaven, all ye that dwell therein,
Rejoice on earth ye saints below,
For Christ is coming, is coming soon,
For Christ is coming soon!
E'en so Lord, Jesus quickly come,
And night shall be no more;
They need no light, nor lamp nor sun
For Christ will be their All!