James' Farewell Song

A strange new urge sweeps over me
A pull now stronger than the sea,
And I a son of Zebedee,
With ships and gear reserved for me,
With knowledge of rich fishery,
Through years of wooing azure sea,
Now casting off my bark for free
To follow Christ who beckons me …
Oh Galilee.

The gentle hills surrounding thee
Resound with news of folk set free;
Of sicknesses healed instantly,
Of torment turned to sanity,
Of guilt and shame absolved for free;
All this our privilege to see,
And Christ reserves a job for me?
And to his course I will agree.
Have you now lost your hold on me,
Oh Galilee?

Your moods can change so suddenly,
One moment calm as calm can be,
The next one pitching dreadfully,
Our small craft swamped with foaming sea,
While Jesus sleeps aft peacefully.
We’ve reefed and bailed in vain ‘gainst thee,
Safe harbour but a reverie.
Has Christ’s call brought this storm to me?
Is this your plan to reclaim me,
Oh Galilee?

What strange deep evil lurks in thee,
Provoking now to jealousy?
What raging winds and waves I see,
Where once you rolled so peacefully.
At last, Christ rises to our plea
And mounts the prow where all might see;
Commanding you to let us be!
Commanding such tranquility!
Displaying his supremacy!
Oh Galilee.

For years you lured me out to sea,
Bewitching inconsistency;
Your song, your spray, your scent to me
Were tokens of some deity,
Some Mother Nature thought to be
The essence of eternity,
Yet somehow fickle, fancy-free.
But now I see, Christ masters thee, oh Galilee;
No other helmsman now for me, oh Galilee;
And from your charms I am set free, oh Galilee.


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