Pillar Journal
- A seasonal journal produced by Pillar Church in Holland, MI to guide us through the Christian year.

Song Reflection #3 – Dear Savior of a Dying World


When I began the process of choosing a hymn to re-tune for Cardiphonia’s Resurrect project, I didn’t have a specific one in mind. But as soon as I saw the title of this hymn by Anna Laetitia Waring, I was intrigued. I had to do a double take.

Dear Savior of a Dying World – a dying world. Our world is dying? How painfully honest. Yet comforting? Even back in 1873 when Anna wrote this, she too saw that the world was not how it should be. Ever since the fall of humanity our world has been slowly and steadily dying.

You all feel this too, right? Every day, we are faced with obstacles that are a result of sin entering the world. And even when we don’t feel any internal weight, we are constantly confronted with the echoes of catastrophe infiltrating the entire Earth: wars, terminal illness, racial injustice, natural disasters.
You get the point.

As you can see, what first caught my attention was the “Dying World” half of the title. My eyes completely glossed over ‘Dear Savior,’ which I believe is the most crucial part of the title, the poem, and this life.

Before the dying world, there is, was, and always has been a Savior. I think most of us can sadly relate to this feeling. We’re so consumed by the things of this world that we fail to fix our eyes on Jesus, our Savior.
The refrain of the re-tuned hymn declares, ‘Oh, The fullness of Thy joy be ours, As all our griefs were Thine.’ Because of the death and resurrection of Jesus, the fullness of God is available to us everyday through the Holy Spirit. He took all of our pain and brokenness, and died with it on the cross, giving us complete access to His joy, peace, and love forever, in this life and the next. So even though we live in a dying world, we don’t have to wait for another world to experience His goodness. We can call upon Him and He will meet us in the good and the bad.

So, our world is dying. There’s no doubt that living in it is hard, scary, and overwhelming, but as Christians, we live this life with hope for the next, where Jesus will make all things new. Until then, we can live our lives knowing that He is in control and works everything out for good, even when it doesn’t feel like it.

‘I long to see the sacred Earth, In new creation rise. To find the germs of Eden, hid, Where fallen beauty lies.’ This is one of my favorite lines of the hymn because I see an image coming to life in my mind.
I can visualize the fallen beauty of Eden being restored by Jesus Himself. Everything that we thought was lost in the fall has been restored.

John Mark Comer describes the future world in his book Garden City, “The writer John is saying that the future is the return to the past. It’s the return to Eden. But notice, something has changed. It’s not a garden anymore; it’s a Garden-like city.”

As we go throughout our days, especially in this Eastertide season, my prayer for all of us is that our reflections on the resurrection compel us to live and love well, as we hold tight to the promise that He is coming back to mend the Garden—giving us a new, vibrant, and living world.
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Dear Savior of a Dying World
Anna Letitia Waring

Dear Savior of a dying world, Where grief and change must be,
In the new grave where Thou wast laid My heart lies down with Thee.
O, not in cold despair of joy, Or weariness of pain,
But from a hope that shall not die, To rise and live again.
Oh! Not in cold despair of joy, Or weariness of pain,
But from a hope that shall not die, To rise and live again.

I would arise in all my strength, My place on earth to fill,
To work out all my time of war With love’s unflinching will;
Firm against every doubt of you, For all my future way
To walk in Heaven’s eternal light Throughout the changing day;

Shine, then, Thou Resurrection Light O Shine, Upon our sorrows shine!
Oh, The fullness of Thy joy be ours, As all our griefs were Thine.
Now, in this changing, dying life of mine, Our faded hopes comes back to life,
Where all is made new and We taste of death no more.

I long to see the sacred Earth In new creation rise
To find the germs of Edem, hid Where fallen beauty lies
To feel the spring-tide of a soul By one deep love set free,
Made meet to lay aside her dust, And be at home with Thee

By Olivia Abdou