Fresh as the Morning

"God always faithful, you do not change"

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Shirley Erena Murray
Tune Name: TRAYNOR

Lyrics as Poetry

God of the Bible, God in the Gospel,
hope seen in Jesus, hope yet to come,
you are our center, daylight or darkness,
freedom or prison, you are our home.Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise,
God always faithful, you do not change.

God in our struggles, God in our hunger,
suffering with us, taking our part,
still you empower us, mothering Spirit,
feeding, sustaining, from your own heart.Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise,
God always faithful, you do not change.

Those without status, those who are nothing,
you have made royal, gifted with rights,
chosen as partners, midwives of justice,
birthing new systems, lighting new lights.Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise,
God always faithful, you do not change.

Not by your finger, not by your anger,
will our world order change in a day,
but by your people, fearless and faithful,
small paper lanterns, lighting the way.Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise,
God always faithful, you do not change.

Hope we must carry, shining and certain,
through all our turmoil, terror and loss,
bonding us gladly, one to the other,
till our world changes, facing the Cross.Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise,
God always faithful, you do not change.


Words by
Shirley Erena MurrayCopyright © 1996 by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

Comment by
SHIRLEY ERENA MURRAY
from her book
“Every Day in Your Spirit” (#11):

“‘Hope in God in a Changing Asia’ was the theme of the 10th General Assembly of the Christian Conference of Asia in Sri Lanka, 1995. I was invited to write this by noted Taiwanese composer, Dr. I-to Loh. The text is woven around six Bible studies, one verse for each day. The refrain comes from Lamentations 3:22-23.”


Every Day in Your Spirit
is published by:Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, IL USA


A Reflection by hymnwriter
WALTER FARQUHARSON

This is a delightful hymn of praise celebrating God’s faithfulness. “Fresh as the morning, sure as the sunrise, God always faithful, you do not change.” Ron’s music, created for these words, invites us all into dance – dance of heart and soul even if our bodies are reluctant or unable to keep up.

The poet’s inspiration comes from Scripture and from life itself. It is a personal hymn of praise in the tradition of psalmists through the ages. If we want a specific text of Scripture that serves as inspiration, we might be surprised to know that we need to look to the very centre of the Book of Lamentations.

The Book of Lamentations, whether written by Jeremiah or someone else, is both a personal and a community’s outburst of lament because Jerusalem, God’s chosen city, has been ransacked by invading armies. The city, its leaders and its people have been taken captive. Many will now face a long and painful exile.

Many of the Psalms are laments. (Read Psalm 22 – the first line of which Jesus cried out from the cross.). There are passages of lament in the writings of the prophets. Some form of kining has been a singing/crying of grief and devastation in many cultures, often accompanied by body painting, cutting of hair, a time of putting on sackcloth and ashes or some equivalent dress. My Scottish music tradition contains many laments and dirges. Lament is sounded in some country and western music, in many spirituals and in the blues.

Suffering, alienation and devastation are written into our family, community and global narratives – or they are denied, glossed over, explained away. We often seek closure, or are counselled to seek closure, when heart and soul need lament, and lament that others will share.

The heart that has not been broken, that has not endured personal or communal agony, is unlikely to ever sing of God’s faithfulness nor feel the need to! Faith, hope, and trust grow despite. The light shines in the dark, and the dark does not overcome it.

Faith, hope and trust spring to life within the context of God’s love and faithfulness. Their coming to life allows room for love to take root, to claim and empower us so that we can choose life and blessing, we can believe it possible that we can play a part (for ourselves and others) to create new and good day.

Read this hymn again. Note the clear identification of our times of daylight and darkness, and note the amazing assertion that God is our home in our times of imprisonment as much as in our times of celebrated freedom. God is in our struggles and our hungers.

This hymn comes from a heart that understands emptiness and exile. It is the lament and praise of a woman who knows the hurt of a Mothering God who weeps for a suffering and alienated people. Despite the hurt and the hurting there is yet hope joyfully affirmed. “Hope we must carry, shining and certain, through all our turmoil, terror and loss, bonding us gladly, one to the other, till our world changes, facing the Cross.”


An Activity: Consider some of the hymns celebrating God’s faithfulness. (Some are listed below but you should feel free to choose another.) Check the background or circumstances behind the writing of these hymns. How are they like or unlike this hymn written by Shirley Erena Murray?

“Great Is Thy Faithfulness”
“Amazing Grace”
“O God, Our Help in Ages Past”
“Now Thank We All Our God”
“Precious Lord, Take My Hand”
“New Every Morning Is Thy Love”

                                                    Audio Sample

"FRESH AS THE MORNING"
One verse & refrain played on piano

Scripture References

  • Exodus 3:1-16
  • Psalm 22
  • Psalm 33:4
  • Psalm 36:5
  • Psalm 91:4
  • Psalm 92:2
  • Psalm 119:81-93
  • Psalm 139
  • Isaiah 12:2
  • Isaiah 26:4
  • Isaiah 40:1
  • Lamentations 3:22-23
  • John 1:1-5
  • John 14:25-31
  • 1 Corinthians 1:9
  • 2 Thessalonians 3:3-5
  • 2 Timothy 2:13

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Bible
  • Birth, Birthing
  • Challenge
  • Christian∶ journey
  • Compassion
  • Constant, Unchanging
  • Heal, Healing
  • Hope
  • Justice, Human Rights
  • Lent
  • Life∶ new life
  • Offering, Offertory
  • Peace
  • Suffering
  • Sustenance
  • World

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