The darkest hour o’ertakes the many sleeping

The darkest hour o’ertakes the many sleeping,
Those drunken with the stupor of this age;
Awake! Arise! And let Christ shine upon you!
Love His appearing, seeking His dear face!
We’ve been betrothed to Christ, our Lord, our Bridegroom,
So let’s take sides with Him and run the race!
May we be those who hasten His returning,
And welcome Him, draw nigh, with bridal love embrace!
While we’re on earth, a sojourner and widow,
Our Husband gone and still so far from view,
The nuanced things that struck a spark of gladness,
Have lost their taste and are no longer “new,”
Because we long for Zion with foundations,
And seek a better country as our own.
Let’s not lose heart! Beseech Him with persistence
Till He and we are joined, the corp’rate smiting stone.
Recall Lot’s wife, turned to a shameful pillar,
Fit neither for the land nor rubbish hill;
Who turned her gaze back to the cursèd city—
Where glimm’ring things her heart did beckon still.
Two in the field—may I be that one taken,
My heart not stuck, while grinding at the mill,
Not tarrying, descending from the housetop,
Ne’er looking back while plowing, faithful in the field.
As we await Thy coming with long-suff’ring,
God as a Farmer, eagerly waits too,
That we Thy children, grow unto Thy fullness
Thine early harvest, rapture-ready fruits.
May we in all things see Thy kind arrangement,
To strip, consume us, all Thyself infuse.
Oh, let us seize each precious golden moment
To let Christ grow in us by being the One we choose.
What is our attitude in all our living?
Our exercise to touch the Lord each day?
The foolish virgins fail to fill their vessels,
The evil, slothful slave says, “He delays!”
Heed the prophetic word—be faithful, prudent—
As to a lamp that shines in a dark place;
O Morning Star, our blessèd hope, we hail Thee;
Rise in our hearts until we see Thee face to face!
Come, my belov’d, let’s go into the vineyards,
See if the pomegranates are in bloom;
While in the church, while shepherding and loving,
Our life and service hastens our Bridegroom.
Make haste, Belovèd, on the mount of spices!
Come quickly, Lord! How long will we delay?
As we express our joint desire and longing,
We foretaste Thy dear presence here in us today.
Maurice Ward

Irving, Texas, United States

Amen, thank you Lord for this song.

These verses led me to this song, particularly the word longing in verse 16:

Heb. 11:13

All these died in faith, not receiving the promises but seeing them from afar and joyfully greeting them and confessing that they were strangers and sojourners on the earth.

Heb. 11:14

For those who say such things make it manifest that they seek after a country of their own.

Heb. 11:15

And if indeed they continued to remember that country from which they went out, they would have had opportunity to return;

Heb. 11:16

But as it is, they long after a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed of them, to be called their God, for He has prepared a city for them.

O Lord increase the fervent longing within us all!

Barbara Rafter

Spokane, WA

Thank you Lord for this inspiring song. Oh Lord Jesus, may we be those who hasten Your returning, who let Christ grow in us day by day! Oh, Lord, may we love Your appearing, seeking Your face, and go to the Vineyard with You by shepherding others according to God.