“We wither and perish, but…”

ISIL’s terrorist attacks have put the world on high alert.  Anxiety is high. How do we provide security against the threats of religious madness while honoring the Bill of Rights against illegal government intrusion?

Times like this also remind us of the need for prayer and thoughtful reflection, the need for something less knee-jerk, less urgent, more principled, wiser and more lasting.

People of my faith tradition often turn to the church’s music. We look to great hymns like “Immortal, Invisible, God Only Wise” from whose poetry a favorite line came to mind yesterday.

“We blossom and flourish, like leaves on the tree, and wither and perish, but naught changeth Thee.”

Until darkness descends, it’s easy to forget we are mortal. We unconsciously indulge the illusion that we are immortal, that we will forever blossom and flourish without withering and perishing. These great hymns and the scriptures which inspired them help to recover our bearings in the search for the deeper wisdom that does not wither and perish, “the true life of all.”


  • Gordon C. Stewart, Chaska, MN, November 18, 2015

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