June 27th, 2019

New Every Morning

I've said in the past that I hate hymns but I didn't really mean it. The hymns I got bored with singing over and over again through my years in the church- beginning in childhood- have furnished me with mottos and mantras that still serve me. Most mornings, for instance, after I've got through the initial reluctance to get up I find John Keble's line, "New every morning is the love" running through my head- only I usually transpose "love"into "light" or "life".

Love, light, life- I reckon they all mean much the same thing.

Keble was one of the great men of the Victorian church- and the only one of the founders of the Oxford Movement who didn't eventually go over to the Catholics. His book of devotional verse, The Christian Year, was a 19th century best-seller. To my surprise- researching this post- I find that he lifted "new every morning" from the Old Testament- from the woebegone Book of Lamentations of all things. At least, I suppose it's woebegone, but I'm not sure I've ever read it. Perhaps it's all wonderfully affirmative.