Getting ready for a funeral and thinking of all the symbolism behind that Christian tradition. My favorite old hymn for funerals was “How Firm a Foundation” with the old melody and one verse especially – “When through the deep waters I call thee to go, The rivers of sorrow shall not overflow; For I will be with thee thy trouble to bless, And sanctify to thee thy deepest distress.” Crossing the Jordan is the symbol for entering the promised land of eternal life in Christ. The old blacj spirituals were replete with crossing the river symbolism; “I’m just a goin over Jordan, I’m just a goin over home”.
The problem with a life time of reading poetry and singing songs has a problem that comes with it. You wake up oin the morning and a bit of doggerel or verse is stuck in the brain and the connection to author or setting is gone. This was with me early this morning.
“A swelling Jordan rolls between,
A timid pilgrim I;
But grace shall order all the scene,
And Christ himself be nigh.
He shall roll back the foaming wave,
Command the channel dry;
No sting has death, no victory grave,
With Jesus in my eye.”
I didn’t have time to search for it and if anyone out there knows where it came from please let me know.