A Hymn of the Beatitude-driven Gospel
Copyright 2018 by Edward Moran. All rights reserved.
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I wrote the text for “Faithful, Stay Woke” as an affirmation of the revolutionary transformation offered by a beatitude-driven Christian gospel. With its direct and veiled references to contemporary issues and personalities, it is also a lament for the corrosive impact that the current administration’s cruelty and evil is having on our communal discourse and public policy.
The hymn was also shaped by several specific experiences: first, the “Stay Woke” sermon preached by Rev David Telfort at Lafayette Avenue church in late 2017; next, an immigration/sanctuary forum at the Presbytery of New York in July 2018, at which Rev Mark Koenig reminded us we were all “living on stolen ground.” The following day, a Sunday, at morning worship, my Lafayette Avenue congregation sang “Abide With Me” as the recessional hymn. The hauntingly beautiful “Eventide” tune was the final ingredient that allowed all these elements to coalesce into the text that “wrote itself”—appropriately—by nightfall.
Author Bio: A poet, editor, and literary historian, Edward Moran has been a member for many years of the Lafayette Avenue Presbyterian Church in Brooklyn, New York and a member of its Social Justice committee. He became interested in hymn writing there, during the pastorate of the late Rev Dr George Litch Knight, a prominent hymnologist and editor.