Monday, April 05, 2010

Around a Table

Back when I first discovered the "Around a Table" hymn, it was in a sermon or something and only contained one stanza and no attribution of authorship. I haven't thought much more about it, but today decided that the internet might clear that up. It is taken from a six-stanza hymn by Londoner Elizabeth Rundle Charles (1828 -- 1896). In its entirety:

Around a Table, not a Tomb,
He willed our gathering place to be:
When going to prepare our home,
Our Saviour said-- "Remember Me."

We kneel around no sculptured stone,
Marking the place where Jesus lay;--
Empty the tomb, the angels gone,
The stone forever rolled away.

Nay, sculptured stones are for the dead!
Thy three dark days of death are o'er;
Thou art the Life, our living Head,
Our living Light forevermore!

Of no fond relics, sadly dear,
O Master, are Thine own possessed;
The crown of thorns, the cross, the spear,
The purple robe, the seamless vest.

Nay, relics are for those who mourn
The memory of an absent friend;
Not absent Thou, nor we forlorn!
"With you each day until the end!"

Thus round Thy Table, not Thy Tomb,
We keep Thy sacred feast with Thee;
Until within the Father's Home
Our endless gathering place shall be.

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