The everlasting highway of saints
Love Beyond All Love: By your mercy,
I am here on earth to receive and reflect your glory as a vessel of Christ.
By your grace, I am one mile of the everlasting highway of saints
encircled in the light of prayer and worship
destined for the city of God. Amen.
— Peter Traben Haas
This powerful prayer places me on the road. God’s mercy and grace for provision, God’s glory for light, and the enduring line of God’s saints for company. Together, in a progression of praise into the presence of God.
Not that some of us aren’t from time to time found lingering at a roadside diner, I admitted to a friend. Pie and coffee with conversation has its allure.
But the road calls. As it always has. Consider the 4th century Latin hymn, “Te Deum Laudamus” (We praise you, O God) which, in its original form, ended: “bring us with your saints to glory everlasting,” and its images of all believers past, present and future. One hymn-setting (“Holy God, We Praise Thy Name”) features these words:
…and from morn to set of sun,
through the church the song goes on.
Sing alleluia, and keep on walking
And it is a song. Besides pie, what is on our lips of any lasting value but praise? Tuneful praise. Songs. Songs in every tongue. Songs new and old. Songs about life. Birds do it. All of creation does it. Join the song.
So, brethren, let us sing alleluia now
not in the enjoyment of heavenly rest
but to sweeten our toil.
Sing as travelers sing along the road,
but keep on walking.
Sing, but keep on walking.
What do I mean by walking?
I mean, press on from good to better.
Paul says there are some who go from bad to worse;
but if you press on, then you keep on walking.
So sing alleluia, and keep on walking.
— St Augustine, 354–430
- Peter Traben Haas, Centering Prayers (Paraclete Press, 2013)
- “Holy God, We Praise Thy Name” Text (attributed to): Ignaz Franz, 1719-1790, (translated by: Clarence A. Walworth, 1820-1900)