O weary saint is a song written particularly for those facing despair at the prospect of their own death or upon the death of a loved one. We are convinced that death is one topic that Christians don’t sing enough about; not what lies beyond death – the glories of heaven – but death itself. Even though Christians have the assurance that death has been conquered and its sting removed (1 Corinthians 15:54-57), we still face physical death and the fears and sorrows that accompany it. This song allows us to confront our grief but offers the encouragement of how Christ can transform it into hope so that we do “not grieve as do the rest who have no hope.” (1 Thessalonians 4:13) Notice that the song is written in a chiastic structure – the second verse is the crux through which the gloom and despair of the first verse are transformed into faith and hope of future promises. O believer, since you are in Christ you will rise again one day in soul and body to everlasting joy!
Tune “Love Unknown” by John Ireland (1879-1962) is copyright © The John Ireland Trust and is reproduced here by permission of the John Ireland Trustees.