Updated: Jun 13, 2021
By Justin Hill
When we have a christening at St Bart's we play Ellie Goulding's cover version of How Long Will I Love You? The format of the lyrics is a series of questions and answers, including:
How long will I need you?
As long as the seasons need to follow their plan.
I have been thinking about seasons this week, predominantly wondering what happened to spring! Seasons give us a sense of progression and a cycle of passing and renewal.
Three hundred years ago, J.S. Bach was a worship leader in Leipzig, writing music for each particular Sunday and celebration in the church calendar. I enjoy listening to this music at the corresponding time of the year, so this week I've been listening to a beautiful aria I Will Yet Indeed Pluck Roses. It's sung in German – the lyrics are:
I will yet indeed pluck roses,
even if they prick me with thorns.
For I have confidence
That my prayers and my pleading
go straight to the heart of God,
because he gave me His word.
There's an impression of perseverance, of carrying on despite setbacks through trusting God; this brings me hope and joy. The piece containing the aria ends with a reminder to trust God's timing:
Hope awaits the right time,
which God's word has promised...
He knows well when would be best.