So…. bear with me on this: today’s hymn is the Jan to yesterday’s Marcia.
Everyone loves Wake Now My Senses. it’s a popular ordination hymn. It makes some of us cry. It is easy to sing and suits so many sermons.
And there, on the bottom of the right hand page, tucked away so as you hardly notice, is Make Channels for the Streams of Love. It’s not the favorite, it’s not well known, it’s overshadowed and often ignored. I can just hear this hymn whining to the Hymnal Commission about being stuck on that page and not having its own so it can shine. Just as second-born Jan Brady was always in her older sister Marcia’s shadow on The Brady Bunch, so too does this hymn sometimes sit in the shadows of a more popular hymn.
But folks, it deserves to shine. Set to the Land of Rest tune (which we have sung twice already in Heap High the Farmer’s Wintry Hoard and When We Wend Homeward), this text by Irish author Richard Trench contains a loving, lovely, and important message.
Make channels for the streams of love where they may broadly run;
and love has overflowing streams to fill them every one.
But if at any time we cease such channels to provide,
the very founts of love for us will soon be parched and dried.
For we must share, if we would keep this gift all else above;
we cease to give, we cease to have — such is the law of love.
Or, as Jimmy Durante (and many others) sang,
You’ve got to give a little, take a little,
And let your poor heart break a little.
That’s the story of, that’s the glory of love.
I hope you sing this more. I hope I sing this more. Because it’s so easy to stay angry and get angrier, to stay isolated and get more isolated, and then become parched and dried. We have to always love more, love more, love more.