"Rizpah Was A Loving Mother"

Here's a hymn that is the fourth in a series I’m writing that is inspired by A Sanctified Art’s upcoming 12-week creative bundle, "“Unraveled.”  It is written in D and is sung to the tune, EBENEZER, which is commonly used to sing “Silence, Frenzied Unclean Spirit". It’s inspired by 2 Samuel 21:1-14. It is dedicated to all parents whose children have been the victims of senseless violence, especially gun violence.

Permission is given for use in congregational worship.  Please give the following credit:  "Copyright 2019 Stephen M. Fearing | www.stephenmfearing.com"

Click here for a pdf of this hymn.

Rizpah was a loving mother, forced to watch her sons’ demise.
Helpless to prevent their slaughter, filled with naught but heavy cries.
David offered them as price to satisfy those wronged by Saul.
Soon her boys were executed, strung up to be viewed by all.

Sleeping on naught but a sackcloth, Rizpah watched her sons decay.
Long she held her solemn vigil, shielding them through night and day.
Soon the birds came for the feasting, but she chased them from her sons.
Many witnessed Rizpah’s anguish, watched her mourn her precious ones.

Through her lengthy, public vigil, Rizpah preached, she testified.
She showed us the senseless violence, Rizpah’s grief was justified.
May we learn from her insistence, may we cease our pointless rage.
May we witness this hard story, usher in a kinder age.

Hear the parents all around us, those whose children live in fear.
See their anguish at the violence, let’s make justice persevere!
Let us learn from Rizpah’s mourning, may we hear her wailing cry.
Help us, Lord, to cease our fighting. May our mercy multiply!

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Stephen Fearing

Stephen was born in 1988 in Cookeville, TN, where his parents met whilst attending Tennessee Tech. Shortly after, they moved to Dalton, Georgia where they put down roots and joined First Presbyterian Church, the faith family that taught Stephen that he was first and foremost a beloved child of God. It was this community that taught Stephen that it was OK to have questions and doubts and that nothing he could do could every possibly separate him from the love of God. In 1995, his sister, Sarah Kate, joined the family and Stephen began his journey as a life-long musician. Since then, he has found a love of music and has found this gift particularly fitting for his call to ministry. Among the instruments that he enjoys are piano, trumpet, guitar, and handbells. Stephen has always had a love of singing and congregation song. An avid member of the marching band, Stephen was the drum major of his high school's marching band. In 2006, Stephen began his tenure at Presbyterian College in Clinton, SC where he majored in Religion and minored in History. While attending PC, Stephen continued to explore his love of music by participating in the Wind Ensemble, Jazz Band, Jazz Combo, Jazz Trio, as well as playing in the PC Handbell ensemble and playing mandolin and banjo PC's very own bluegrass/rock group, Hosegrass, of which Stephen was a founding member (Hosegrass even released their own CD!). In 2010, Stephen moved from Clinton to Atlanta to attend Columbia Theological Seminary to pursue God's call on his life to be a pastor in the PC(USA). During this time, Stephen worked at Trinity Presbyterian Church, Silver Creek Presbyterian Church, Central Presbyterian Church, and Westminster Presbyterian Church. For three years, Stephen served as the Choir Director of Columbia Theological Seminary's choir and also served as the Interim Music Director at Westminster Presbyterian Church. In 2014, Stephen graduated from Columbia with a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Arts in Practical Theology with an emphasis in liturgy, music, and worship. In July of 2014, Stephen was installed an ordained as Teaching Elder at Shelter Island Presbyterian Church in Shelter Island, NY. Later that year, Stephen married the love of his life, Tricia, and they share their home on Shelter Island with their Golden Doodle, Elsie, and their calico cat, Audrey. In addition to his work with the people who are Shelter Island Presbyterian Church, Stephen currently serves as a commission from Long Island Presbytery to the Synod of the Northeast and, beginning in January of 2016, will moderate the Synod's missions team.