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An abiding theme

My parents retired to a small fishing port on the southwest coast of England, called Brixham. Brixham, like many small towns has some claims to fame; William of Orange's landing there is celebrated by his statue - disrespectfully used by the seagulls as a perch.

Probably the most enduring thing to come out of Brixham is the hymn "Abide with Me".

We talked a bit about abiding yesterday.

The author, Henry Francis Lyte, was vicar of Brixham and was approaching the end of his life when he penned the hymn. It is often thought of as a funeral hymn. when I was growing up it was often used as a hymn at Evensong - in the winter it was already dark and cold (and often rainy) outside and the hymn was comforting - although I don't think I understood a word of it beyond "abide with me".

In these times, my memories of thinking about going out in the cold to get home seem familiar. We all had somewhere to go, somewhere to be, something to do but there was a sense of lingering in the warmth and glow of the church. You can take that on many levels but we have to often weather the storm in order to get where we are going, the hymn reminds us of God's constancy and presence, no matter what we face.

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