Time of Dryness Has Passed from Us

For Pentecost: A song of renewal

Music by Ron Klusmeier
Words by Walter Farquharson
Tune Name: BIGGAR

Lyrics as Poetry

Time of dryness has passed from us,
time of living has begun,
for God’s Spirit moves among us
making real Christ’s promise won.As that Spirit moves among us,
tongues of fire invade the heart;
those whose voices had been muted
sing aloud of earth’s new start.God’s great love for us is shown now
and God’s people are made whole;
and the Spirit poured upon us
brings us closer to our goal.Life and death are in perspective;
we find oneness with our God.
Worlds transformed will sing God’s praises,
blossoms spring from barren sod.God is with us now and always;
this is knowledge we can trust.
When we’re gifted by God’s Spirit
love has raised us from the dust.Time of dryness has passed from us,
time of living has begun.
When the Spirit moves among us
fears and hurts are overcome.Holy Spirit, never leave us,
fill our lives with holy power.
Let this moment in our living
be a pentecostal hour.Like a mighty wind surrounding,
fanning flames of love to life,
let your giving send us serving
into every scene of life.


Words by
Walter FarquharsonCopyright © 1980 by Walter Farquharson
Administered by Hope Publishing Company
Carol Stream, Illinois • USA

Comments About Song

A Reflection by
WALTER FARQUHARSON


Anyone who has ever lived in an area subject to drought, whether short or long termed, knows how the arrival of rain is greeted. It comes like the lifting of a death sentence, a reprieve. It is a walk out of prison.

Drought is a killer, a slow and merciless killer. Its effects will survive long after the rains have returned. With the water that evaporates and the streams and wells that become poisonous or simply have dried up, the energy of all living things is sapped, hope shrivels and even the power to love and care becomes brittle and increasingly vulnerable.

The lands of the Bible for millennia have known drought. The second account of creation (Genesis 2) begins with drought that is ended when God acts. In this story, humankind is shaped from the dust of the earth and “breathed” into life. “In the breath is the life”.

Ezekiel’s vision of the Valley of the Dry Bones affirms for him that it is only when the breath of God is restored that there is new life for the people of God. The word that comes to the prophet (the Dreamer) is that he must “Prophesy to the breath, prophesy, mortal, and say to the breath: Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe upon these slain, that they may live.” (Ezekiel 37:9) The time of exile will end. Hope will take root in the hearts and minds of the people. They shall arise and the desolate earth shall again yield its increase.

This song, “Time of Dryness Has Passed from Us”, is based primarily on the story of the first Christian Pentecost told in Acts Chapter 2 and on the Book of the Prophet Isaiah, Chapters 35 and 61.

The Acts story is dramatic. On the Jewish festival celebrating the giving of the Law, the commandments, mediated to the people through Moses, a large crowd had gathered. Suddenly, Luke writes, there is a roaring wind and fire-like flames dance over the heads of the people. People talk excitedly. They speak in many languages for they are from different countries and regions. Amazingly, they understand one another. The curse of Babel is reversed. And God is praised. The promised Holy Spirit has come and believers are empowered to proclaim in both word and deed the New Day of God.

John’s gospel tells a different Pentecostal story that is not , like Luke’s account in the Book of Acts, separated in time from the Easter event.

According to John, the confused and frightened disciples were gathered in an upper room trying to sort out the stories of an empty tomb and of appearances of Jesus to Mary, to Peter, to the Emmaus road travellers. Despite the closed doors and their suspicious hearts and minds, they come to know that Jesus stands among them. Jesus greets them with the traditional “Peace be with you! God’s peace be with you!” And he breathes upon them telling them to “Receive the Holy Spirit.”

Individually we know times of dryness. Like the author suffering from writer’s block, we cannot find motivation or even physical strength to do that which we must, that which part of us wants earnestly to do. This may be complicated further by issues of illness or pain. Trauma, grief, weariness, and any number of other temporary realities can act as co-conspirators keeping us stuck, immobilized. These are times when great stress is placed upon all relationships, and quite often most acutely on our closest and most intimate relationships. Our work may not get done or may not get done well. We may go through the motions of life without engagement.

When it is our relationship with God that is deadened we no longer sense ourselves seen, known, loved by the One in whom we have lived and moved and had our being. Ability to love and to accept love fades. Trust is compromised. Hope seems an illusory concept and not a living reality. Our view of compassion and mercy may become so jaded that it is seen only as a setting ourselves up for more disappointment, rejection, manipulation or scorn. The trap of cynicism proves inescapable. Some of the mystics of the church referred to such experiences as the dark night of the soul.

Within our faith communities the times of dryness are not necessarily the times of dwindling memberships and financial crises. What they are likely to become are institutions obsessed with safety and survival. Gimmick and novelty replace substance, challenge and intentionality. Our God becomes smaller and smaller; our call shrinks losing breadth and depth; our view of our resources sees limitation and ignores richness and potential.

When Jesus spoke of the Spirit empowering the community of faith he was not speaking of one particular time of the Spirit’s outpouring. The Spirit’s moving might be perceived as rushing wind, flames of fire, awakening the dead and the near dead. It may come quietly as breath-giving moment in an upper room.

The Spirit comes bringing life, joy, creative and healing strength. The Spirit comes reminding us of people and moments of grace. The Spirit comes and we see the faces and hear the hymns of the great cloud of witnesses singing God’s praise. We see again the practitioners of mercy, the seekers of justice, the healers and menders. By grace we accept their offered stories and encouragement. By grace we sing with them again.


Remembrances of growing up on a farm
in southwest Saskatchewan
by Walter Farquharson

The grasses crackled beneath our feet. It had been dry too long. Humans, animals and birds moved listlessly, devoid of energy. Crops were stunted, herds had been thinned, flowers were small and hidden, fruit was dried and shrivelled. So long had it been this way that we missed feeling the wind change direction, missed seeing the clouds shaping up on the western horizon. Then there was the flash of lightning and the loud clap of thunder. A mighty wind sent shrivelled  weeds and leaves and small branches tumbling across the yard. The earth was blessed with the first drops of rain, large and warm drops creating small explosions of prairie dust as they fell. There was nothing to do but to run out into the middle of the yard, stand for a time as strengthening rain washed our faces, then to jump and cavort awaiting the first so welcome puddles of the summer. Time of dryness had passed from us!


AUDIO SAMPLE
Piano: Hymn-style

One Verse played on piano
by Ron Klusmeier

Scripture References

  • Psalm 68:4-10
  • Psalm 73
  • Isaiah 32:12-18
  • Isaiah 35
  • Isaiah 55:10-13
  • Isaiah 61
  • Ezekiel 37:1-14
  • Joel 2:28-29
  • Acts 2:1-18
  • Romans 5:1-5

Season, Theme
or Subject

  • Liberation
  • Life∶ living life
  • Life∶ loving life
  • Pentecost
  • Renewal
  • Spirit

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