We gather together…sorta
posted on November 23
This Thanksgiving, Covid continues to interrupt our lives, causing us to lament once again as a cherished holiday that is filled with tradition, family, and yummy yummy food has been altered and brings with it a sadness as we cope with life’s trials, tribulations, and adjustments.
The beloved hymn, We Gather Together, is one of the traditions that I delight in as we raise our voices in church “to ask the Lord’s blessing.” I won’t sing it this year in church, but I sure can sing it around my house, as I stroll through my neighborhood, and maybe over the phone to my children (how they would love that)!
It’s a song of encouragement, reminding us that God is with us regardless of our circumstances, but it was not written for Thanksgiving Day. It is a Christian hymn of Dutch origin written by Adrianus Valerius in the late 16th-century as an expression of celebration of freedom by The Netherlands from Spanish oppression. As such, I advocate that we sing it boisterously throughout the year lest we forget God’s faithfulness and that He always provides even as we social distance!!
Carefully, expectantly, joyfully, read the words…or better yet, sing them!
And let not your heart and soul be troubled...gather safely together, ask the Lord’s blessings, sing praises to His name, for He forgets not His own…now that’s something to be thankful for…and turkey with dressing!
With a grateful heart for you and all God’s blessings,
Kim Eller, District Lay Leader
Northern Piedmont District
Click image to enjoy We Gather Together...and singing along!
We gather together to ask the Lord’s blessing;
He chastens and hastens his will to make known;
The wicked oppressing now cease from distressing.
Sing praises to his name; he forgets not his own.
Beside us to guide us, our God with us joining,
Ordaining, maintaining his kingdom divine;
So from the beginning the fight we were winning;
Thou, Lord, wast at our side; all glory be thine!
We all do extol thee, thou leader triumphant,
And pray that thou still our defender wilt be.
Let thy congregation escape tribulation;
Thy name be ever praised! O Lord, make us free!
"We Gather Together"
Anonymous 17th-century Dutch, translated by Theodore Baker
The United Methodist Hymnal, No. 131
Read more about the History of We Gather Together
in an article shared by
Discipleship Ministries, The United Methodist Church