One Was Old, Another Barren

Representative Text

One was old, another barren,
and a third was young and fair,
when God promised wondrous blessings
for the sons they were to bear.
Though incredible each promise,
yet they trusted and believed,
guarding closely in their hearts the
visions that they had received.

Sarah must have told her baby,
as she calmed his anxious cry,
"God has promised you more children
than the stars up in the sky!
Little Isaac, kings and nations
will descend from you one day,
destined to inherit blessings
if they follow in God's way."

And Elizabeth, once barren,
must have whispered to her son,
"Someday, John, you'll be God's herald
to announce the Promised One!
Someday you will speak with courage
words from God for all to hear,
calling people to repentance,
telling them the Christ is near."

Mary must have echoed prophets
in her cradle lullabies,
"Jesus, you will be our Savior,
Christ the Lord, Love's great surprise!
Someday I may watch you suffer,
and your pain may pierce my soul,
but I trust that God will heal my
broken heart and make it whole."

God, we thank you for these mothers
and the faith they had to share.
May we also trust your promise
for the children in our care,
that through us the Spirit’s blessings
may upon them come to fall,
giving them the strength and courage
to be faithful to your call.

Author: Mary Nelson Keithahn

Mary Nelson Keithahn, a retired United Church of Christ ordained pastor and church educator, has been a curriculum writer-editor, journalist, and lyricist for musical dramas and anthems. She still works out of her home in Rapid City, South Dakota, as a free-lance writer. In 2016 she published Elfie: Adventures on the Midwest Frontier, a chapter book for children, and Embracing the Light: Reflectioins on God’s Holy Word, a collection of meditations for individual or small group use. Augsburg Fortress also published Sing the Stories of God’s NEW People, the third in a trilogy of Bible story-based collections of songs for young children, written with her longtime colleague, John D. Horman. The two have written over a hundred hymns togethe… Go to person page >

Text Information

First Line: One was old, another barren
Title: One Was Old, Another Barren
Author: Mary Nelson Keithahn (1997)
Meter: D
Source: Time Now to Gather
Language: English


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Time Now to Gather #11

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