James Edmeston (1791-1867), was an architect and surveyor by profession, who loved literature and wrote over 2,000 hymns, at one time writing one hymn every Sunday. In the architectural world he became known for his training of Sir George Gilbert Scott, the first in a family line of eminent architects whose grandson, Sir Giles Gilbert Scott designed The Salvation Army’s William Booth College at Denmark Hill and the UK’s iconic red telephone box, among other projects.
‘Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us,’ is sometimes known as the Hymn to the Trinity, with each of its three verses addressing a different person of the Trinity. I feel that the first verse is a wonderful prayer for today, with its reference to this world’s tempestuous sea. How we long for God to lead us over those seas that would otherwise threaten to sink us.
It calls on God to guard us, to guide us, to keep us and to feed us, four things that are very much on our minds just now, with an awareness that there is no-one who can really help us but God himself. None of the experts around the world really know where all this is leading and what life will be like on the other side of all of it.
Yet, the truth is that whatever we may lose, if things are never the same again, and life never returns to how once it was, we are still richly blessed. We want for nothing if we are truly God’s children having been adopted into a deep intimate relationship with God our Father, through the wonderful work of his Son our Saviour, Jesus.
Lead us, heavenly Father, lead us
O’er the world’s tempestuous sea;
Guard us, guide us, keep us, feed us,
For we have no help but thee,
Yet possessing every blessing
If our God our Father be.
Howard, Webber Major (retired)