Sunday, April 20, 2008

Not Years Alone

Not Years Alone*

by Ora W. Garber

O Church beloved, ‘tis not your years alone
Which measure in God’s value scale your worth.
O’er many an institution on this earth
Have far more years, with scant achievement, flown.
Through these three hundred years now^ you’ve grown
In scope and numbers, though you’ve had some dearth
Of soul. As you commemorate your birth
Mark well those points by which you’re judged and known:

Your faith; your love poured out to those in need –
The lost and groping souls to Jesus led,
The minds enlightened, the hungry people fed,
The naked clothed, the sin-bound prisoners freed,
By faith and Christ-like deeds shall you be known,
And not, O Church beloved, by years alone.

*Adapted for the Church of the Brethren 300th Anniversary Year
^Originally read "these two hundred fifty years you’ve grown"

Source: Brethren Life and Thought, Vol. III, No. 1, Winter 1958